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Broke my heart
Smells_Like_Cheese15 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In 2001 after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania, my class and I talked about it and what was disturbing to us. I mentioned how everyone thinks it's impossible to make a better world, but is it? I told them that if one person can do something wonderful for another person, that it could pass on like a domino reaction. Everyone loved my speech and the teacher even said that we could all do one nice thing, so for that day after class we had to do something nice, hoping it would cause a reaction. Didn't happen.

I recently watched Pay It Forward, watching it broke my heart because I felt for Haley Jole Osmond's character, hoping your idea would work and it didn't. Just wanting to make something better and you know it's so hard but you just have to try. This is a terrific movie that deserves more praise and I am hurt by a rating of 6.7. I think this movie is one of the best movies of 2000 if not the best. We could all learn from this film.

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Excellent in Parts, All Right As a Whole.
tfrizzell5 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
A deceptively dark film that seems light-hearted and somewhat fun on first glance, but just keeps on twisting as it progresses. A badly burned teacher (Kevin Spacey) wants his grade school class to come up with a project to make a difference in the world. Thus young Haley Joel Osment comes up with an idea to help three people in trouble and then have each of them do the same for three others in order to keep paying it forward. Osment wants a father and soon hopes that Spacey will fall in love with his mother (Helen Hunt). He also helps a homeless man (James Caviezel) who just cannot seem to say no to narcotics. For a while it appears that everything might actually work out, but Spacey's sad life and the return of abusive father Jon Bon Jovi (in a nice little supporting turn) just make Osment that much more tortured emotionally. The love that grows between Hunt and Spacey appears it will save the day, but sometimes nothing is the way it seems to be in life. I did enjoy "Pay It Forward" very much. I liked the elements of the production really more than I liked the entire movie as a whole. There are some really wonderful ideas here and in all honestly there are really two or three movies within "Pay It Forward". All the performers are right on. Osment is the greatest child actor to ever live, hands down. Spacey is always a guaranteed performance and Hunt has grown as an actress in just the last several years. I was disappointed that Caviezel's (who struck gold in "The Thin Red Line") did not have a little more time here. His character is quietly deep and complicated beneath the surface. The tone hurts "Pay It Forward". I really expected a somewhat light-hearted film at the start after some situations that seem to be going for comedy. Some things just do match up with other parts of the movie. With all that said, I still think that "Pay It Forward" is a fine effort that stands a little taller than others might believe. 4 stars out of 5.
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k_ferenc7516 May 2005
In our world helping other people is perhaps the most important we can do. Children are the ones who often teach us how to behave in certain unpleasant circumstances. It is not only a moving story but everybody who sees this film stops for a moment or more and think over the meaning of life. One of the best American films I have ever seen with lots of good actors. Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt are wonderful. In secondary schools it should be a compulsory part of education. I am a teacher and when I want to talk about this topic I always choose this film and students find it a very good example, too. It has not got a happy ending like it often happens in life. It is not a stupid story, it gives us lots of extras. When I first watched it, at the end of the film I was full of emotions and just could not sleep for a while. To put it into a nutshell: Try it and pay attention to Pay it forward.
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An underrated, beautiful movie.
ipekmine30 June 2012
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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What movies are supposed to be
Greg-1958 October 2000
Pay It Forward is a prime example of what films are supposed to do: make you laugh a little, cry a lot, and profoundly affect you in a way that keeps you thinking about the movie for weeks afterwards. I saw it at a special preview screening and was blown away. My friends and I sat through the entire credits because we were so taken by what we had seen. Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and the phenomonal Haley Joel Osment once again give performances worthy of Oscars. I only hope there isn't some "retaliation" of sorts because of their previous wins and nominations because they deserve it again this year. But the big winner here is director Mimi Leder who has moved from action films into great cinema. She demonstrates the fine tuned skills she showed while directing ER. As I sat there, one eye kept a close watch of the story while the other marveled at the beautiful direction of every scene. They have my vote for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, and Screenplay. Awe-inspiring!!!!
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Life is pain
baumer12 November 2000
Life is full of inconsistencies, and it is not without a sense of irony. There are people that have tried to make a difference in life and some of them have paid for it with their lives. Some that come to mind are Martin Luther King Jr, JFK, Gandhi and Terry Fox. It's not easy to change the world. It takes a lot of hard work and determination. And it doesn't happen overnight. But then you see a film like this and you begin to question that rationale. What if a concept like this really was implemented? What if every single person that had a favour bestowed upon them was asked to pay it forward? Is it possible that a Utopian world could be achieved? I doubt it, but it certainly would go a long way to making this condemned world a better place to live.

I don't think this is one of the best movies that I have ever seen. I don't think it is even the best film that I will see this year (although it will make my top ten ) but the idea behind it is what has me intrigued. Believe me when I tell you this. I don't think I have ever been as emotionally galvanized as I was in this film. There is a raw power, a truth that rings clear in Pay It Forward and if there was one film that I would want people to see this year, it would be this film. It is entertaining, it is superbly acted, and it the one true film, the one true idea that really could help make a positive and tangible difference in our society and our world.

In some circles this film has been criticized for laying on the fluff. It is too much like a soap opera. And that is so far from the truth. Let's recount the issues at hand and examine them. Kevin Spacey plays a burn victim because of child abuse. Helen Hunt plays a single mom that is having a hard time recovering from alcoholism and has a bad case of "can't get her ex-husband" out of her life and her bed. Haley Joel Osment plays a wise beyond his years son that had to grow up precociously because of his mother that suffers from the above. Every character in this film, including the bit players suffers from real problems. If people have a hard time understanding this then just go to an average suburban classroom in North America and arbitrarily pick out ten kids. Chances are you will find cases of alcoholism, child abuse, divorce and a plethora of issues that are not conducive to a healthy environment for a child. So this film is just mirroring life. That's all.

The performances by the three leads is nothing short of brilliant. Not as much can be said for the rest of the cast, but Spacey, Osment and Hunt all could be nominated this year when March comes. All three bring compassion and depth to the three scarred people that they portray. But especially intriguing is Osment. He doesn't need to say anything in order for you to understand him. It's a look, a twitch, a smile, a shiver. Anything he does helps us understand who he is and why he is that way. Osment is one true gifted actor and I really don't think he is going to fade away in the years to come like so many other child prodigies. This is the real deal. By following up Sixth Sense with a performance this real solidifies him as a true thespian.

If you have not seen this film for whatever reason, and its box office suggests most haven't, then do yourself a favour and take a chance on it. Not only will it do you good, it really might help change you in some ways. And as Osment says in the film, maybe we may all see in some way that, " the world isn't really s**t."

9 out of 10 ( and bring lots of tissues )
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Despite the shortcomings - well played and at times inspiring
grahamclarke3 May 2004
I remember leaving the cinema, feeling very much let down by the end of "Pay it Forward". Watching it recently on television I find myself far more forgiving since it's a movie with a sincere and important message, expressed with conviction. The quasi-religious ending probably will appeal to many, but from an artistic viewpoint, it seems unnecessary and not entirely suited to the tone of the film up to that point.

Kevin Spacey is effective as the suppressed, sensitive teacher, while Helen Hunt is terrific, despite the role being far too close for comfort with her "As Good As It Gets" character. But it's Hailey Joel Osment's wonderful portrayal that gives "Pay It Forward" much of its power. He simply is perfect for the part. (Good to see Angie Dickenson, braving it in the role of a homeless alcoholic).

At its best, this is a film which may just do the impossible: inspiring one to good deeds, without expectation of reward or remuneration. That alone is a substantial achievement.
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The ending reflects how cruel life really is
mjw230528 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) is a boy troubled by the events in his life. With a violent and Alcoholic father, who has left the scene; and his struggling Alcoholic Mother (Helen Hunt), who is trying to make ends meet, Trevor feels alone and is fearful of the future.

Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) is his new teacher, who has a rare quality of caring for his students. He sets an assignment for his class, to come up with an idea of how to improve the world we live in. Intended purely to may them think, Eugene never expected any results, but Trevor has a revelation, a notion that that people are in essence good and he could use this quality to better the world. And so Pay It Forward is born, Trevor will do three favours for others and in return they must do three favours for others and so on.

With a great leading cast and a good support from Jon Bon Jovi, Jim Caviezel and Angie Dickenson, the movie follows the failures and triumphs of Trevors idea and the life changing effect on both the world around him and on those close to him.

A Journey of emotion and discovery, this tearjerker instills belief that we can all do some good in the world, with a little effort and commitment.

A Warning for new viewers, the end is quite simply heartbreaking, it is incredibly sad, yet it does reflect how cruel life can be, and in my opinion it was brave to use such a shocking ending, that leaves you feeling down while at the same time adding an edge to the Film.

Overall it was a brilliant film, although it clearly will disappoint those people who want a happy ending, but for me the ending was perfect.

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Not for the stonehearted.
Al_James9 February 2002
Pay It Forward is a movie that is aimed at one particular audience. The kind of audience that expects to have their life changed as the minutes tick by.

And as a film that provides profound, poignant and tear-jerking moments, Pay It Forward will be perfect for this manner of audience. Unfortunately, harder, more expecting movie-goers will probably dismiss this movie as an oversentimental and perhaps unrealistic film.

The film is centred around Trevor (Hayley Joel-Osment). An 11 year old boy, living alone with his dysfunctional, on-off alcoholic mother Arlene (Helen Hunt). One day Trevor is set a homework assignment by his new Social Studies teacher, the mysterious, slightly disfigured Eugene (Kevin Spacey). Eugene sets the class a difficult task; to think of an idea that will change the world and put it into action. Et voila!! Pay It Forward is born.

Trevor is played with an endearing maturity and at times, unstable frustration by uber kid actor Osment. As an aspiring actor, I worry that an 11 year old boy can grab hold of such difficult roles and make them his, while I still strive to gain my Equity card!! What Osment promised in The Sixth Sense, he shows again here with a more difficult and emotionally charged role. Trevor is a boy not altogether happy with his life. He is lacking in a father figure, his Mother struggles to have any impact on him as she juggles two jobs to make ends meet, which leaves Trevor with nothing but his own intuition to drag him through life. For a child that can only be extatic and contented with HIS life, Osment does well to project such a fragile character on screen.

Eugene is a character made for Kevin Spacey (although all his roles seem perfect for him). Intelligent, compassionate, slightly bitter and at times unpredictable, Eugene is a man that we, as an audience cannot help but engage with. The dialogue written for Spacey is much better than other characters in the film, and he puts it to good use. Spacey is at his best when doing two things; calmly and charismatically attracting attention to himself (Ordinary Decent Criminal, Midnight In The Garden Of...), and when he bubbles just below the surface, inviting audiences in so that he can devastate you with a single revelation (Seven, Usual Suspects, Swimming With Sharks). And his revelation in this film (he relives how he came to get his horrific scars), is so vivid, so intricately and harrowingly retold that you cannot help but feel a tear well up in your eye.

Helen Hunt is fantastic as Arlene. Managing to achieve a look that bizarrely mixes trailer trash, run down alcoholic with vulnerable cuteness. She doesn't get the pick of the dialogue however, and the role aswell as the whole film would have been a whole lot worse off had Hunt not been on top form. You don't want her to be your Mother, but you really want to see her happy and for her to do a good job at being Trevors.

The film falls short in little details. Supporting characters do little to affect the story (Jay Mohr as an almost non-speaking narrator??) and the whole thing feels flat if Spacey is off screen too long. Good actors like Jim Caviezel go almost unnoticed and you can't help but feel that a few more juicy characters would help the story become a little more...cohesive.

The ending is a reinforcement of the atmosphere of the whole film. It is a sequence that heightens our emotion and should set the tears rolling.

In short, see this film for three things; Haley Joel-Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. All three are fantastic, and it's obvious to see why so much Oscar gossip was being spread.

If you like heart warming films with a little bit of edge, then watch on. If you're expecting an original, exciting, twisty or philosophical it anyway, at least the three leads are good.
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A very moving movie
EternianNews29 December 2004
This is one of the most moving movies that I have seen in years. The performances are excellent by all the cast members and the emotional tie you develop with the characters is so amazing that you start to feel what they are feeling and go through their good and bad times. This movie is inspiring and heart driven. I really enjoyed this movie because of the well written story and smoothly moving plot of this movie. The movie does not leave you confused as to what is going on or why. That's why I gave this movie a 10, because it is excellent. The odd thing is about movies, the ones that aren't really that good get the awards, yet the really good ones never get one. I have really never understood that. This movie should have been given an award.
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More realistic than a pyramid money making scheme
shabashnim30 January 2007
watched the movie over the weekend! And i really enjoyed the story. I haven't read the book but i think the idea deserves credit and well done on making it into a movie... greater potential to get people thinking even if it is just for 5minutes.

It reminded me of the pyramid get rich schemes that some people promote... only this had more substance and seemed more attainable than the selling life insurance to people!!! I came across a review that said the movie was over sentimental and perhaps unrealistic. For those that have lost faith in humanity and ability to do a good deed for someone you really don't know ... perhaps it is unrealistic. But living in a developing context means that we are faced with that opportunity all the time.

Irrespective, of linguistical, social, cultural or economic barriers we all have the capacity to recognise when the hand of support or help is extended... its tough to ignore! So for those of you that are extending/ receiving that hand .. Pay it forward!
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A touching film in these uncertain times
b4peace-114 May 2008
A film of surprising majesty mainly because of its sincerity to convey the tale of a young (American) high school student, touchingly and masterfully played by the then 12-year-old Haley Joel Osment, who, at the instigation of his new teacher's challenge to the class, comes up with a beautiful and simple plan to make a difference in the world, involving doing a good turn to not just one person but three, who then, in turn, return the gift themselves to three more people, thereby very quickly spreading goodness in both directions, in the giving and receiving, in the most unlikely places and ways. Warning: a tear-jerker!
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Don't pay it back, pay it forward
orangevideogamesatlanta17 January 2013
"If somebody does something for you, don't pay it back, pay it forward". This is the quote that you can find on the front case. Trevor is a 7th grader who's teacher tells the class to come up with something that can change the world and then tells them to act on it.

Trevor, unlike all the other kids, takes this project serious. He calls his project Pay It Forward. In his plan you must simply help three people with something they can't do on there own. After that, each of those people have to go out and help three others, thus creating a multiplying chain.

This movie deals with many different emotions, and is not for the faint of heart. With a movie with a star class and a dark lesson on the faith on mankind, this movie will keep you up at night thinking. It'll hopefully motivate you to do something to try and change the world.
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very good adaptation of the book.
kurst_vampchild19 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie, before reading the original book and surprisingly, i found myself liking the movie better! never have i had this experience before, but i must say, that the story behind Eugene's disfigurements was more interesting than Reuben (the book character's name) who was a war veteran. I also think that although the character of Reuben/Eugene was meant to be played by a black man, Kevin Spacey was perfect for the role and you could not have chosen a better actor to play it. Helen Hunt also did very well as Arlene McKinney and really represented the character how she was meant to be, based on the book, which is a rather difficult thing to do. I think that although the film and book differed to a certain extent (as all film adaptations do), the film kept the sentimental quality of the book and in the movie Trevor doesn't get to meet the president which I find to be more realistic rather than a story book fairytale idealism. Overall, i recommend both the book and the movie.
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Just the Sort of Treacle I Wrote When I Was Eleven
XianPhoenix7 August 2001
This was not a bad film; in fact, it was fairly well done, for what it was. Unfortunately, what it was was emotionally manipulative. Child abuse survivors, cute kids, recovering alcoholic mom working two jobs, this movie had it all. Above all, the director's vision was muddled. "Life is sh*t," says Trevor (Osment); by the end of the film, we can see that life is not sh*t after all. Or is it? The dramatic twist at the end (I won't spoil it for you) seemed to revoke the entire message of the movie. It had no apparent purpose, other than to lead up to the buy-the-world-a-coke, faux-heartwarming finale. The movie was not a total wash, however, as the genuinely solid performances from everyone involved lifted it above the sappy little mess it could have been. Osment is a gifted actor who manages to be a scared, vulnerable kid, without resorting to overt cuteness; he has a wary toughness which makes his performances very believable. Although I am admittedly ambiguous about Helen Hunt, she did turn in a very strong, thoughtful performance in a role that could easily have been one-sided or overplayed. Final analyss: If you like sentimentality, "Pay it Forward" is worth the effort, but it falls far short of a classic.
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" Knowing the right thing is easy, doing the right thing is a bit harder "
thinker169119 January 2010
The world is a pretty awful place if one sees only the bad which is usually all around us. Occasionally when there is a disaster, people from all walks of life, suddenly forget who they are and step forward to help out and for a moment, the world becomes a place where all mankind can share in that one brief pause, called Humanity. This is one such film. It's called " Pay it Forward. " The name strikes an immediate note of confusion at first, until one thinks about it. Too often when someone does a good deed, most of us feel we should try and Pay it back. This is the original concept, except in the film a young student named Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) designed it so a person who receives a favor, is then told to pay it forwards to three other people. The idea first began as a school assignment given by his teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) and encouraged by the boy's mother Arlene. (Helen Hunt) It is not that often when such a simple idea can have such a profound effect and reminds the rest of us, that simplicity is the key to our basic nature. With two academy award winners in the forefront of this film, I fail to see how it was not nominated for an award of some magnitude. ****
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Very inspiring movie, made me think about my life.
pieterluxman10 June 2020
This movie was a surprise, I did not expect it to be good. It was a very good movie. Nice story, kept me engaged even though I am not into dramas and more into action movies. Acting was very good, the actor playing Trevor was amazing and also Kevin Spacey of course. Pacing was good, sometimes a bit slow.

The most important thing about the movie was the message, paying it forward could make the world a happier place, people including myself have a tendency to be selfish. Made me think about my life, time for change.
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Amazing film it literally changed my life
jorn-glantzlen8 February 2020
Nothing much more to say, I watched this film for the first time maybe 15 years and I was impressed by it's humanity and a teenager I realised that the world can be a terrible place and I was wondering how you could change it...I think this film explain you that you can have an impact in your everyday life by being nice to people who then will be nice with other people, etc..., etc...
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Boy Meets Adulthood at 12 Years Old.
ckinnair20510 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Personally – I don't think Trevor actually saved the world, but had a good impact on it. I thought it was amazing how he stopped a man from taking drugs and how that man was influenced to stop a woman from partially killing herself (however unrealistic.) But I do think it was still brilliant how the idea's was casted and how the film was written. I liked the ideas with the Social Studies to where Trevor learns everything about how to provide help for the world we live on and how Mr. Simonet was dedicated to hearing Trevor's opinions. This made me feel something. If teachers were actually like Mr. Simonet a lot of rubbish happening in society wouldn't be happening on the streets today. I don't think this is one of the best movies that I have ever seen. I don't think it is even the best film that I will see this year (although it will make my top ten) but the idea behind it is what has me intrigued. Believe me when I tell you this. I don't think I have ever been as emotionally galvanized as I was in this film. There is a raw power, a truth that rings clear in Pay It Forward and if there was one film that I would want people to see this year, it would be this film. It is entertaining, it is superbly acted, and it the one true film, the one true idea that really could help make a positive and tangible difference in our society and our world. The ending was unexpected but then again better than other Drama/Romance American films with a happy ending. The brutality of the ending was cleverly observed by the writer and you could tell how he was feeling himself while making the film, psychologically and verbally.
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a moving and emotional movie
philhouston9 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film falls into my top 5 favourite movies. The acting by Haley Joel Osment, playing Trevor the son of an alcoholic mother and abusive father, is by far and away his best performance; capturing the innocence of childhood alongside the desperation of being trapped in such a difficult social situation. Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey; both underrated performers, pull of a spectacular duo as the struggling single parent and social outcast teacher, who find each other through a bad situation.

This film works on so many levels without ever getting bogged down too much with one scenario or another. Emotional scenes are interspersed with comedic ones to give the film a lighthearted edge, which helps detract from some of the more serious underlying concepts. However the scenes where these concepts are confronted are powerful and superbly acted, making this a spectacular movie.

Without a doubt I would recommend this film to all of my friends, and for those of a sentimental nature, I would also suggest a bumper pack of tissues.
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While not the most moving film I've seen, this is still a solid, thoughtful and well-performed film!
TheLittleSongbird11 March 2009
Pay It Forward is not as moving as a film like the Elephant Man and Fearless, but is still a solid and thoughtful account of a boy who wants to change the lives of those he loves.

The subject matter was well-realised, and that alone made it genuinely poignant. I have read some truly unfair reviews, that Pay It Forward is overly sentimental. No, it isn't. The ending was beautiful, and heart-rending too. When I saw this at school, I promised myself I wouldn't cry. But I did oddly enough, but it is very fair to say the ending was very moving, and added to the irony that the young boy Trevor, was unable to change his alcoholic mother's life. The scene in the hospital was also really sad, as I had genuine respect for all the characters.

There were unfortunately two flaws with the film. First of all, the script at times was a bit weak, especially when the three protagonists were not the focus. The other flaw was that sometimes the film's structure felt a little confused, but that's just me. Mimi Leder's direction was slick and attentive, the two ingredients you need to make this sort of film work.

The performances of the three leads were what held this film together. A wonderfully restrained Kevin Spacey played the disfigured teacher, and the scene where we find out what happened to him was shocking to say the least. Helen Hunt matched him beautifully as the mother, who tries to block out her painful life(prostitution, domestic abuse, an alcoholic family member) with drink, much to the despair of her son, Trevor. The real star is Haley Joel Osment, possibly the most talented child actor on film, who perfectly conveyed the 11 year old boy who wants to make a difference. Who wouldn't? All in all, a thoughtful and insightful film, that is genuinely moving. It isn't the most moving film ever, but it is definitely underrated. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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The most moving movie ever made
khaldoon_rizeq8 September 2008
This movie is hands down the most moving movie ever made! Not only that, but also, the storyline is very well written. Now although the book contains a better structure to the story, the movie's story structure is still amazing! Also, the acting is close to being flawless! I also think the reason why i liked this movie a lot is the fact that it is so realistic. The reasons and the actions in this that were made by the characters of the movie were so down to earth, nothing unrealistic!!! I wish that everyone who watches the movie gets something out of it, and that the movie doesn't only have an effect on you for the 5 minutes after it is over. This movie has the capability to change a lot of people's attitude. I wish that they reproduce it, in a newer better marketed version, since i think, it has such a strong message that everyone should hear!!!
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It's hard to surprise me anymore but it happened.
janne_w22 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I liked this movie. I did enjoy it a lot. It pulled me in. It appealed to me for lots of reasons... but I didn't like the ending. I wish like the dickens that they'd have chosen a different one. The feeling that it left me with was wondering what anyone in that story gained by its ending that way. I'm sure there was something... some lesson, some high consciousness or something, kicking in to make the people better human beings... but I know how the viewer was expected to feel all through it and that said, they were rooting for the triumph of the main character, and it was coming along so nicely... then poof. You are left bewildered and mad.

That's about all I can say about it. It disappointed me because I felt like they set me up for a happy ending. I know that lots of movies do that, and it's probably a noble thing for a movie to have the guts to have an unhappy ending, if there is a lesson to be learned from it. This one just left me feeling the same way Braveheart left me. I guess I'm Pollyanna-ish when it comes to some things. When there is a life struggle involved, I like to see triumph over evil or something. This time it just hurt.
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Phenomenal heart-warming film
leviot6 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has everything a great movie should have. A strong, original plot. Phenomenal acting and great performances. Powerful dramatic scenes with clever dialouge. It's thought provoking and has a strong message to convey. It makes you smile, laugh, cry and then cry again.

The very idea of Pay It Forward, is a powerful concept.

Most kindnesses in the world are done along the lines of 'I scratch your back, you scratch mine', thus perpetuating a circular cycle of favors among friends and family and the like. Yet, Pay It Forward goes way beyond that. It says: do a favor and expect nothing in return. Do it just for the sake of improving this world. Start it and let it roll like dominoes. And don't just do any favor, help someone with something that they will never be able to help themselves with.

Much has been made about the ending of the movie. Obviously, it's shocking and an absolute letdown. But I think, ultimately, that was the way the movie had to end, because that really underscores the very idea of the movie. It shows that the world is still not perfect, that it can be extremely cruel at times, but that's exactly why ideas such as Pay It Forward must continue and flourish. Moreover, to make a real difference in this world, that often requires the ultimate sacrifice.
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I think we can do it
HALNIT-217 September 2001
It was a very good chance to see this movie today, just one week after the tragedy. I know some people don't agree with the idea of "Pay It Forward", but thinking about the word "possible", and people who simply have never had a chance to think about what they can do for the world they live in, this movie may do something good for us.
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