7.2/10
100,736
665 user 158 critic

Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 2000 (USA)
A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,618 ( 183)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ricky McKinney
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Grace
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Woman on Bridge
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Adam
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Bonnie
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Michelle
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Nurse
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Thorsen's Daughter (as Hannah Werntz)

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Storyline

Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When someone does you a big favor, don't pay it back... Pay It Forward See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,631,359 (USA) (20 October 2000)

Gross:

$33,508,922 (USA) (2 February 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bridge that the "jumper" is on is the Saint Johns Bridge in Portland, OR. See more »

Goofs

After Trevor runs away, Arlene is talking to the police and says if she had a car, she'd be looking for him. Later, she even asks Eugene to drive her around to look for Trevor because she had no car, but earlier in the movie, Jerry fixes her truck, so she had no need to ask someone else for a ride. This is assuming of course, that she had resolved the issue of the truck not having all of its wheels on it - since it was raised on a stand, with at least one wheel missing. See more »

Quotes

[Arlene, and then Eugene, feeling very emotional, have left the room in which Trevor was being interviewed by Chris for television. Trevor admits that he thinks "pay it forward" will not work, because people are too afraid]
Eugene: Arlene, I don't want to be one of those people he's talking about. And I've become one. I don't want to spend another second of wasted air. Please, don't make me stay trapped in here forever.
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Connections

Referenced in A Family Underground (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock the Party (Off the Hook)
By Noah Bernardo Jr. (as Noah Bernardo), Marcos Curiel, Mark Daniels and Sonny Sandoval (as Paul Sandoval)
Performed by P.O.D.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Just the Sort of Treacle I Wrote When I Was Eleven
7 August 2001 | by (Atlanta GA) – See all my reviews

This was not a bad film; in fact, it was fairly well done, for what it was. Unfortunately, what it was was emotionally manipulative. Child abuse survivors, cute kids, recovering alcoholic mom working two jobs, this movie had it all. Above all, the director's vision was muddled. "Life is sh*t," says Trevor (Osment); by the end of the film, we can see that life is not sh*t after all. Or is it? The dramatic twist at the end (I won't spoil it for you) seemed to revoke the entire message of the movie. It had no apparent purpose, other than to lead up to the buy-the-world-a-coke, faux-heartwarming finale. The movie was not a total wash, however, as the genuinely solid performances from everyone involved lifted it above the sappy little mess it could have been. Osment is a gifted actor who manages to be a scared, vulnerable kid, without resorting to overt cuteness; he has a wary toughness which makes his performances very believable. Although I am admittedly ambiguous about Helen Hunt, she did turn in a very strong, thoughtful performance in a role that could easily have been one-sided or overplayed. Final analyss: If you like sentimentality, "Pay it Forward" is worth the effort, but it falls far short of a classic.


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