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Pay It Forward



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Kevin Spacey plays a teacher who inspires his class to make the world a better place. One student, Haley Joel Osment, decides everyone should do something good for three people and ask them to "pay it forward" instead of pay it back. Also with Helen Hunt, Jon Bon Jovi, Jay Mohr, James Caviezel, Shawn Pyfrom and Angie Dickinson. [2:02]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Some sexual innuendo (a woman repeatedly asks a man why he won't sleep with her) and some kissing, sometimes passionately. During an extended implied sex scene, a man and woman take off their shirts (we see his bare chest and her bare shoulders and part of the side of her breast) while she lies on top of him and they kiss. A strange man approaches a young boy; the man doesn't do anything to the boy, but it's implied that something could happen. We see a woman in her bra, a woman's pants unzipped briefly while she's changing clothes, and scantily clad women waiting on tables and dancing suggestively in a night club.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A person is fatally stabbed in the gut with a knife; also, blood runs down a person's arm after being stabbed. A man holds a woman hostage and has his arm around her neck, almost choking her. A person contemplates suicide and nearly jumps off a bridge. A group of boys gang up on another boy, punching and kicking him, then throwing him in a trash bin. A woman slaps a boy in the face, and a man punches another and threatens to harm a boy. A man breaks a window with a metal bar. We see some professional wrestling on television. A car slams into another. A man fires a gun twice into the ground but no one gets hurt. A boy brings a knife to school. A boy utters mean and disrespectful words to his mother. Throughout the movie we see a person with a scarred face and body from burns; also, we see several needle scars on a man's arm. There's a joking reference about a man killing his wife and some talk of a man pouring gas on his son and lighting it, catching the boy on fire. A woman vomits in a sink.

PROFANITY 5 - A partially uttered F-word, several anatomical and scatological references, a few mild obscenities, some religious obscenities, and several insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Alcoholism, substance abuse, love, doing the right thing, death, honor, burn victims, school violence, family, homelessness, running away from home, suicide, murder.

MESSAGE - Do your part to make the world a better place.

Special Keywords: S5 - V6 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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