7.2/10
109,611
670 user 160 critic

Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 2000 (USA)
Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director:

Mimi Leder

Writers:

Catherine Ryan Hyde (book), Leslie Dixon (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,635 ( 140)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

K-PAX (2001)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

PROT is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away planet named K PAX. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack
I Am Sam (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter and in the process teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson
Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school.

Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Chris Nielsen dies in an accident, and enters Heaven. But when he discovers that his beloved wife Annie has killed herself out of grief over the loss, he embarks on an afterlife adventure to reunite with her.

Director: Vincent Ward
Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra
August Rush (2007)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift to try to find his birth parents.

Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Men of Honor (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of Carl Brashear, the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver, and the man who trained him.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter "Patch" Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Eugene Simonet
Helen Hunt ... Arlene McKinney
Haley Joel Osment ... Trevor McKinney
Jay Mohr ... Chris Chandler
Jim Caviezel ... Jerry (as James Caviezel)
Jon Bon Jovi ... Ricky McKinney
Angie Dickinson ... Grace
David Ramsey ... Sidney Parker
Gary Werntz Gary Werntz ... Mr. Thorsen
Colleen Flynn ... Woman on Bridge
Marc Donato ... Adam
Kathleen Wilhoite ... Bonnie
Liza Snyder ... Michelle
Jeannetta Arnette ... Nurse
Hannah Leder ... 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:

Three imperfect people. One perfect idea. 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros. (US)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pay It Forward See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,631,359, 22 October 2000

Gross USA:

$33,519,628

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,707,411
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book, the teacher is a black man named Reuben St. Clair. The role of Reuben was originally offered to Denzel Washington but was turned down, due to other commitments. When Kevin Spacey agreed to the movie, the character was changed to a white man named Eugene Simonet. See more »

Goofs

During the interview at the end, the camerawoman suddenly changes from the left side to the right side of the camera. 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.
See more »

Connections

References Fantasia 2000 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

You Gotta Move
Written and Performedy by Sam Cooke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Just the Sort of Treacle I Wrote When I Was Eleven
7 August 2001 | by XianPhoenixSee 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.


15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 670 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed