Off the Map (2003)



Critic Consensus: Excellent performances mark this leisurely paced film.

Movie Info

Bo is a young girl, living in rural New Mexico, who yearns to feel a connection to the world she perceives as beginning outside the lines of her tiny town. Her father is depressed; her mother is the archetype of an earth mother. Bo meanwhile writes to various snack-cake manufacturers describing the ailments their products have given her and requesting replacements. But the family grows its own food and has a stockpile of firewood that will last years. That sets the stage for the visit from the … More

Rating: PG-13 (for nudity and thematic elements)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Joan Ackermann
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 9, 2005
Box Office: $1.3M
Manhattan Pictures Internation - Official Site


as Arlene

as Charley

as Bo (as a girl)

as William Gibbs

as Bo (as an adult)

as Consuela

as Store Clerk
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Off the Map

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (31)

Quiet and quirky, yet refreshingly unpretentious, Off the Map is a welcome sojourn in a place that seems strange, yet entirely familiar.

Full Review… | April 28, 2005
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

[A] lovely film, which hardly ever makes a move that feels wrong.

Full Review… | April 21, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

A journey into an austere land of moviemaking where few artists dare go.

Full Review… | April 14, 2005
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

It's so focused on the subject that the downer mood becomes distressingly contagious.

Full Review… | April 8, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Surprisingly enjoyable and insightful, full of hope and generosity, with characters and a story that not only satisfy but also shed light in various directions.

Full Review… | April 8, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

It's supposed to invite you in, and it does, with eccentric characters, soft stories and a sense of spare solidity that feels more true than precious.

April 8, 2005
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Off the Map

Sort of a Zen meditation about the accident that leads us to decide to discover what life is all about, that needs to discover in fact. Sometimes the writing and presentation is awkward but it comes off like well meaning, teenager-in-love awkwardness and, because of that, bearable. Beautiful New Mexico desert scenery dominates. Very approachable.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Ok, so the concept behind this movie is maybe better than the movie itself, and the precociousness of Valentina De Angelis's character might be just a bit too much, but other than that, I don't really have any complaints about this movie. It has a good story, interesting characters, good performances and really nice cinematography. It's a smaller, quieter, indie film, and I'm really happy about that. I can't see this film being better otherwise. This movie makes me want to live in New Mexico. I already want to anyway, but this makes me want to even more.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]In "Off the Map", Bo(Valentina de Angelis) is a precocious 12-year old being home schooled by her hippie parents, Arlene(Joan Allen) and Charley(Sam Elliott), who are living the life of Henry David Thoreau on a self-sustaining homestead in New Mexico.(The household income is only $5,000 per year.) In her spare time, Bo goes hunting, extorts samples from companies and is working on a credit card application. The main crisis in their household is Charley's deep depression.(My guess is that the film takes place in November 1980, shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan, an event that darkened a lot of lives.) The family income is low enough not to require them to pay income taxes, but they have not been filing the requisite forms, thus bringing them to the attention of the IRS. An auditor, William Gibbs(Jim True-Frost), arrives just as Arlene is weeding her garden in the nude...[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]"Off the Map" strives to be an eccentric coming-of-age story but it is listless and too earnest for its own good. The only jolt of energy comes from the arrival of an IRS auditor, never a good sign. The movie cannot escape its theatrical roots, even with beautiful location shooting. I do admire the family and how they live but the film wrongly avoids any discussion of politics. The reason many people keep their earnings down to avoid paying income taxes is so they do not support the American military. [/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]J.K. Simmons and Sam Elliott give performances so low-key that they are practically somnabulant.(I do not know if there is a way to portray depression accurately onscreen, but this is certainly not it.) Amazingly, Joan Allen hardly registers at all. At least, Valentina de Angelis, can be relied on to rescue the movie from the doldrums.[/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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