Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Boston Globe
The kind of film you've got to admire simply for the way it squares its shoulders and plunges into a message of unfashionable idealism.
70
Dallas Observer
Heavy-handed, saccharine message somehow goes down good.
63
Philadelphia Inquirer
It's a pretty nice movie until, like a Ponzi plan, it collapses.
63
Chicago Sun-Times
With a cleaner story line, the basic idea could have been free to deliver. As it is, we get a better movie than we might have, because the performances are so good.
50
It's too bad about the ending because, until then, Pay It Forward... is Hollywood feel-goodism at its best.
50
Chicago Tribune
Too high-minded to stoop as low as it does, particularly in its unforgivably manipulative ending.
50
San Francisco Examiner
There's the world-alteringly scary possibility that (Leder) might be trying to kill us with a star-studded "After School Special."
30
Austin Chronicle
At its core, a very manipulative piece of work.
30
Time
As rigged as a casino slot machine, preying on people's hopes but paying off only for the house.
30
Salon.com
No wonder Arlene (Hunt) keeps a bottle of vodka in the chandelier. You would too with this demonic, passive-aggressive, New Age munchkin (Osment) trying to run your life.

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