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Opened in Theaters: Friday, October 20th, 2000

Directed by Mimi Leder
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 1:55

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Pay it Forward
A young boy is challenged by his teacher to do make the world a better place. His idea is the "pay it forward" concept in which you do a good deed for someone, who then does a good deed for three...  View more >

PG-13
mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language, and brief violence

Starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt...  View more >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  1 11 See Now! Percent
Good  4 44 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  3 33 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  1 11 Stay Away! Percent
9 Total Reviews

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Check out our Featured Movie Reviews for Pay it Forward.

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Oct 14, 2000
M'Kay. Saw the preview for this during "The Cell" which was apropriate because like "The Cell", it lacked substance...the premise is great, the movie just doesn't tell the whole story. You know those movies you see and during the credits you say...'THAT WAS IT, WHAT ABOUT...???', well here's another one.

We suffer because the marketing experts in Hollywood have figured us out. We can only sit through two hours worth of movie. Two hours, and a couple of minutes longer but then you'll lose em.

Well this movie needed another half hour to elaborate on characters. It needed to make the audience feel the characters, it needed us to relate...not just plop people in front of us and say 'here's so and so and there goes so and so, how bout that...' If you want to see it, see it because Helen Hunt is a definite babe...but then ask your self if you feel cheated....
[--- Good ---]by  Oct 21, 2000
Very entertaining.
[--- Good ---]by  Oct 23, 2000
This movie was an inspiration. Acting was superb!

Was not sure when going in if I would enjoy it, but left loving it. I have recommended it to my teens. This movie will show them something besides sex and gore.
[--- Good ---]by  Oct 24, 2000
I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into the movie, but I did enjoy it.

The actors did a wonderful job and you really felt for each one of them. The theory behind the movie makes you think a little.

If you don't want to spend 7.50 it can wait, because you don't need to see it on the big screen.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Oct 25, 2000
I must say that Kevin is having a difficult time following up the success of "American Beauty." The first film that he makes after the best picture winner, "The Big Kahuna," while extremely well-done and quite compelling, simply does not connect with the public.

That is to say, it makes no money. Oh well, he was just having a good time with it anyway--i highly recommend it, by the way. But now, to the movie in question...Alas, this movie is advertized like it's "American Beauty 2," even released in the same month, and has that same hollywood "oscar buzz" to it. I'll lay it down straight for those of you who've yet to see it--DON'T.

Condescending, patronizing, and just plain sentimental. Talk about pointing the finger at you. I felt like I was at church, which until now is a feeling i thought hollywood wanted to avoid evoking in the audience. The characters are absolutely one-dimensional, regardless of their predictable troubled histories, and c'mon--a seventh grade martyr--even the most sanguine attitude wants to have a good rolling of the eyes.

This movie attempts to be tragic, though during the scenes where it tries hardest to evoke such high feelings, I found myself laughing. Though perhaps I was the only one, for the majority were, I confess, in tears--the same people had thought "Titanic" deserved best picture. But I'm sounding cynical, aren't I. I apologize. More than anything else, I suppose, this movie is insulting.

The last scene, I swear, they must have been thinking of "Field of Dreams," and where did everyone get the same exact candles. The only redeeming aspect of this film was Jay Mohr's character, but the plot is so sporadic and disconnected that his character is never developed. But what do you expect from a movie with a tagline that reads like a first grade christmas wish?

Anyway, go see it, and if you cry, forgive this review, but perchance you don't, I salute you--there's still hope...
[--- See Now! ---]by  Nov 6, 2000
An engrossing, deeply moving story. Well acted. The surface story will pull you in and the layers of deeper messages will keep you there.
[--- Good ---]by  Nov 13, 2000
The film had a nice story line with great performances by Kevin Spacey, Helen hunt and of course by Haley Joel Osment. The film did drag in the middle, but by the time you reach the ending you won't be disappointed by the path the story choose.

Both touching and surprising. Definitely a good date flick.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Nov 30, 2000
To all who have seen this movie and have given negative reviews:
Maybe you will be lucky enough someday to run into someone who
pays it forward to you. It is the idealists in this world that
save us from the sceptics.

My thoughts to those who haven't seen it? See it, then before the
flame dies, live it. When we chose to live towards a future that
we are genuinely concerned for, one that breeds perpetual concern
for all, then we will know peace.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by VIP MemberFeb 15, 2001
"Pay it Forward" has an early Oscar buzz. Anyone who started the Oscar buzz, never saw one flame of the film.

The idea of the Pay it Forward system is quite good, but the whole idea is thrown to the backseat, in favorite of a ugly soap-opera style script. Kevin Spacey with the burnt make-up, doesn't prove to me that can play a compelling character. Helen Hunt is wasted as the single parent who is raising his son.

The film has little reference to the plan Harley Joel Osement has put forward, but the film would rather deal with issues better left with better films.



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