Pay It Forward

Theatrical Release: October 20, 2000
Pay It Forward


When one young student creates a plan for “paying forward” favors, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness that blossoms into a profound national phenomenon.

Dove Review

“Pay It Forward” is an engaging, uplifting film that purports a selfless deed can alter the lives of others forever. Unbeknown to the film’s young hero, his caring acts for others catch on, leading people throughout the country to do the same. Once again, Hunt and Spacey give compelling performances. And young Haley Joel Osment proves that his Oscar-nominated performance in last year’s “The Sixth Sense” was no fluke. This kid’s an actor! He’s perceptive, unaffected, and honest. You can see what he’s thinking, and he makes you care about him and what he’s doing. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this well-made film for family viewing due to the profane use of God’s name. Whenever I hear a character on screen use God’s name followed by a curse, or Christ’s name used as a mere expletive, I am left with the impression that he or she has no reverence for God. Like most people, I have said hurtful things, and even misused our Savior’s name. I have repented and apologized for those wrongdoings. But how do you repent for something that you have deliberately put on the silver screen for future generations to be affected by? Along with the glamour and prestige film actors receive comes a great responsibility for how they affect the thinking of movie-goers. It is rather frustrating that most actors don’t see it that way.

Content Description

Language: GD 4, Jesus 2, Christ 2, BS 5, S-word 17, N-word 2, SOB 2, ass 5, Bitch 3, expletives 10 – Sex: an exotic dancer in a bar; 1 sex scene, no nudity – Smoking a minor character smokes – Drinking: a bar scene features drinkers; the mother is a struggling alcoholic, but she stops drinking – Drugs: a character smokes a joint – Violence: in a fit or rage the mother slaps her son - it is obvious that it has never happened before and she is repentive; the teacher punches a child molester off camera; gun shots go off in a hospital, but no one is harmed; the returning husband becomes abusive; a child is stabbed by a bully and dies; the ex-husband returns home and becomes verbally abusive, at one point threatening his son; he hits his ex-wife; we are told how the male lead became a burn victim - the disturbing story reveals that his abusive father purposely set him on fire


Company: Warner Brothers
Writer: Leslie Dixon
Director: Mimi Leder
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 125 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright