7.2/10
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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.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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4,411 ( 24)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Grace
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Gary Werntz ...
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Adam
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Bonnie
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Michelle
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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:

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Details

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Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt have Academy Awards, while Haley Joel Osment has been nominated. See more »

Goofs

When Eugene & Arlene are about to make love, Arlene had taken off her tank top and was just wearing shorts of the same color and was partly lying on top of Eugene. In the next shot , she is on her side, Eugene is pulling a blanket off her lower half, and it looks like she is wearing a top and skirt of 2 different colors. In the next shot, she is back on top of him with no shirt as he rolls her over. See more »

Quotes

Thorsen: I thanked him and there were some very specific orifices in which I was told to shove my thanks. He told me, "Just pay it forward." Three big favors for three other people. That's it.
Chris: So it's like a pass-it-on thing, then. Wait a minute. You and this lowlife are in this chain of do-gooders, some kind of Mother Theresa conga line? That's a little New-Agey for you, isn't it? Sort of Tibetan? What, are you in a cult?
Thorsen: If you mention my name, you'll be selling your kidneys to pay for your lawsuit. ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Lights, Camera, Creeper: Making 'Jeepers Creepers 2' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Mar y cielo
By Julio R. Reyes
Performed by Los Hermanos Martinez Gil
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An underrated, beautiful movie.
30 June 2012 | by See 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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