7.2/10
102,766
664 user 159 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
4,472 ( 61)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Grace
...
Gary Werntz ...
...
...
Adam
...
Bonnie
...
Michelle
...
...
Thorsen's Daughter (as Hannah Werntz)
Edit

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:

A movie from the heart that connects with the heart. 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,631,359, 22 October 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$33,519,628

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,707,411
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Jaguar owner is played by director Mimi Leder's husband, Gary Werntz. His character's asthmatic daughter is their real-life daughter, Hannah Leder. See more »

Goofs

When Chris Chandler is interviewing Trevor, the DVC Pro video camera his girlfriend is using, shown clearly from behind, obviously has neither a battery nor a AC power converter. See more »

Quotes

Arley: I want to wear the green dress.
Trevor McKenney: You look like a vampire in that!
See more »

Connections

References Fantasia 2000 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
By Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill) and Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Despite the shortcomings - well played and at times inspiring
3 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

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.


76 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 664 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Who's Your Celebrity Counterpart?

"The IMDb Show" finds out who your celebrity doppelgangers are. Plus, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz recounts the moment his movie was mistakenly awarded an Oscar.

Watch now