Pay It Forward

Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Pay It Forward Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Syrupy drama has mature themes, cursing, violence.

PG-13 2000 123 minutes

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 32 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Great film but the ending is very traumatic

I loved this film and thought it had a lovely message until the end when a character is killed and 15 years after seeing the film I am still traumatised by it! Recently my niece (10) saw the film and has now completely stopped watching films as she was so upset and is worried unexpected violent deaths will happen in other movies. This film is not for sensitive children! It is a beautiful film in other ways though. I think the death is worse because it is realistic.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
age 16+

Not a family movie

Unfortunately the trailer was very misleading. It looked like a movie with a great message but it was not for 12 year olds. Alcoholic mother, several druggies, and the hero, who dies in the end. The message of the movie could be interpreted as "try to help others, and you get yourself killed". I wouldn't recommend it for family movie night.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Field of Dreams Poster Image

    Field of Dreams

    Baseball crowd pleaser with a supernatural twist.

    age 12+
  • Millions Poster Image

    Millions

    A beautiful, rare family film that everyone can enjoy.

    age 10+
  • August Rush Poster Image

    August Rush

    Pleasant, emotional, fable-like family drama.

    age 9+

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Holding hands
    Compassion
    See all
  • Young child laughing
    Gratitude
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate