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Pay It Forward (2000)

 -  Drama  -  20 October 2000 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 86,426 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 654 user | 157 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

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(book), (screenplay)
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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:

£357,185 (UK) (26 January 2001)

Gross:

ESP 191,771,560 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one moment, a poster on the wall in Trevor's bedroom can be seen. It displays Goldberg, a famous professional wrestler, at the time wrestling in WCW. See more »

Goofs

When Trevor is eating breakfast in the kitchen with his friend, the contents of his breakfast bowl and glass change between shots. See more »

Quotes

[Thorsen gives Chris the keys to his car]
Chris: You want me to drive home in your car?
Thorsen: No, I want you to take my car. Had a lot of luck lately. I don't need it.
Chris: You're giving me a brand-new Jaguar, and you don't want anything?
Thorsen: I can prove it. Give me your card.
[Chris gives Thorsen a business card]
Thorsen: I'll be in touch.
Chris: Whoa, what is this? What, you want me to kill your wife or something?
Thorsen: No. Tempting, but no. Call it generosity between two strangers.
See more »

Connections

Features WCW Monday Nitro (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Calling All Angels
Written and Performedy by Jane Siberry
See more »

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User Reviews

Despite the shortcomings - well played and at times inspiring

I remember leaving the cinema, feeling very much let down by the end of "Pay it Forward". Watching it recently on television I find myself far more forgiving since it's a movie with a sincere and important message, expressed with conviction. The quasi-religious ending probably will appeal to many, but from an artistic viewpoint, it seems unnecessary and not entirely suited to the tone of the film up to that point.

Kevin Spacey is effective as the suppressed, sensitive teacher, while Helen Hunt is terrific, despite the role being far too close for comfort with her "As Good As It Gets" character. But it's Hailey Joel Osment's wonderful portrayal that gives "Pay It Forward" much of its power. He simply is perfect for the part. (Good to see Angie Dickenson, braving it in the role of a homeless alcoholic).

At its best, this is a film which may just do the impossible: inspiring one to good deeds, without expectation of reward or remuneration. That alone is a substantial achievement.


71 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How can anyone possibly like this movie?? chloen1979
a better ending rutica
now if you got stabbed in the stomach Sensfan1915
Did anyone ever have 7th grade teacher like that? MBasler89
Should be a law... libertess66
Sounds like American Beauty. Thorpe89
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