Pay It Forward 2000

Critics score:
40 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Erik Lundegaard, Seattle Times: Hard-hearted critic that I am, I even found tears welling up near the end. But it's dishonest in its execution, and a tad dull after a promising beginning. Read more

Ebert & Roeper: Read more

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News: Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: You witness the first, testing, tension-packed conversation between Spacey and Osment, as pregnant in its silences as in its words, and you are ready to go wherever this movie leads you. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: The year's most manipulative movie. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: So enamored of its own upbeat view of human nature that it expects you to overlook its stick-figure characters, its creaky plot machinery and its remorseless assault on your tear ducts. Read more

Toronto Star: Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Offers more potential than payoff. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The combination of restrained writing and direction and top-of-the-line acting is enough to make even confirmed agnostics want to believe in this unashamed fairy tale. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: Wants so badly for us to feel something -- inspired, teary, shocked -- that it leaves us merely numb. Read more

Paul Tatara, Has to be the most oppressive 'feel good' picture in movie history. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: Toploaded with manipulative schmaltz, star-turn moments, intentionally unflattering makeup, unbelievable plot twists and just plain twaddle. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Unceasingly manipulative. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Less a worthy achievement than a nice try. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: With its smorgasbord of moralizings, Pay It Forward is a confusing welter of sentiment. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Both affecting and effective. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: It tells a story that audience members will want to like, but it doesn't tell it strongly and cleanly enough; it puts too many loops into the plot, and its ending is shamelessly soapy for the material. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, No wonder Arlene keeps a bottle of vodka in the chandelier. You would too with this demonic, passive-aggressive, New Age munchkin trying to run your life. Read more

Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle: Has all the elements of a satisfying movie except knowing when to stop. The rest is good enough, however, that it will do. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Spacey and Hunt create interestingly layered characters who are hiding parts of themselves from themselves. And come Oscar time, Osment once again may be saying, 'I see tuxedoed people.' Read more

Derek Adams, Time Out: Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Osment truly is as good as it gets where kid thesps are concerned. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Hollywood feel-goodism at its best (or worst, depending on your Patch Adams tolerance quotient). Read more