7.2/10
113,002
680 user 131 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)
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Popularity
4,902 ( 157)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
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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:

Like some other kids, 12-year-old Trevor McKinney believed in the goodness of human nature. Like many other kids, he was determined to change the world for the better. Unlike most other kids, he succeeded. 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several pieces of promotional material (including some press kits) mistakenly referred to Kevin Spacey's character as Reuben Simone. See more »

Goofs

As Chris Chandler is driving to Las Vegas, we can see a truck approaching on the road behind a road curve - but then the camera changes angles. The truck is gone and so is the curve. See more »

Quotes

Eugene: OK. You know, I'm going to have to consult my spirit guides here, because you tell me that Trevor is withholding from you, but you won't tell me anything specific and you still want me to sit here and divine why.
Arley: Divine why? You always talk like that?
Eugene: Yes.
Arley: You go to some big, fancy school?
Eugene: Yes.
Arley: Think you can stop rubbing my nose in it?
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Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: The Book of Henry (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Because I Got It Like That
By Nathaniel Hall and Michael Small
Performed by Jungle Brothers
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User Reviews

 
An underrated, beautiful movie.
30 June 2012 | by ipekmineSee all my reviews

Pay It Forward is based on a plot that makes you think almost about everything -both while watching and after. There are elements that make you smile and cry, and the cast is very good at delivering the superb scenario. Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey surely do not disappoint and Haley Joel Osment performs perfect, giving everything one could expect from such a young actor. Jon Bon Jovi is the surprise among the cast and adds a nice flavor to an already delicious dish. From the beginning until the very end, the movie manages to touch somewhere deep in your heart, and although I did not the book it was based on, the plot makes a lot of sense in its entirety and shines with its originality. It does not come with numerous awards or an exceptionally high IMDb rating, but it really is a very good movie.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

-Making-of | Warner Bros. (US)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pay It Forward See more »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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