Off the Black Reviews

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Top Critic
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly
December 8, 2006
Despite some nice touches, this is the sort of too-precious indie film that gives its characters unnecessary quirks (like diabetes) to make them more 'real'.
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide
December 8, 2006
Writer-director James Ponsoldt's first feature is a small, modest movie structured around a fairly simple situation that leaves plenty of room for some fine performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jim Hemphill
Reel.com
December 8, 2006
...Off the Black is a low-key, but powerful drama that allows some great actors to do what they do best.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 8, 2006
Off the Black should at least make us remember that Nolte has quietly aged into one of our strongest actors, and one of the few dedicated to taking on big roles no matter how small the picture, or the payday.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
December 8, 2006
Sometimes a movie pretends to be more than it is. In this case, it pretends to be good.
| Original Score: 2.3/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 8, 2006
If your film is as downbeat and deflated as this one, you had better be leading up to a more interesting insight than, 'The older I get, the more I know that I don't know anyone.'
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 8, 2006
As good as Nolte is, the relatively unknown Morgan matches him scene for scene.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
December 8, 2006
Off the Black is a modest, bittersweet character study that hits its mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Francesca Dinglasan
Boxoffice Magazine
December 8, 2006
Nick Nolte delivers an unexpectedly moving turn in Off the Black, James Ponsoldt's baseball-themed story of regret and redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bruce Feld
Film Journal International
December 8, 2006
Although Nolte gives a thoroughly masterful performance, one great actor is never enough. Film, like baseball, is a team sport.
Dave White
Movies.com
December 8, 2006
Small observations about life simmer to the surface, and nobody bonks anyone else over the head with any huge revelations. That means it's basically science-fiction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
December 7, 2006
Nick Nolte dives beneath the blubber to bare the weary soul of an automobile junkyard operator pushing 60 who also umpires high-school baseball games.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 7, 2006
Playing a cantankerous, beer-swigging human wreck of a man for the umpteenth time, Nolte is very good but very familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 7, 2006
The movie is so restrained, and holds back so much on conventional plot and characterization, that its emotional impact is severely blunted.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
December 7, 2006
Writer-director James Ponsoldt filters old-shoe comfort and easy-does-it drollery through what could have been a downbeat inquiry into the ways men of all ages avoid saying what they really feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Gregory Kirschling
Entertainment Weekly
December 6, 2006
We haven't heard much from Nick Nolte since he took that wild 2002 Hawaiian-shirt mug shot. Off the Black proves he's still a great leading actor.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
December 5, 2006
Nick Nolte's grizzled, alcoholic recluse mentors Trevor Morgan's unhappy teen in Off the Black, a heartwarming tale that's been told a thousand times before, and with considerably more spark.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 5, 2006
The story's lack of freshness is partially counterbalanced by solid acting and effective character development but, in the end, Off the Black fails to leave an impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Village Voice
December 5, 2006
A disarmingly droll and insightful indie.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
December 3, 2006
A special coming-of-age drama that explores loneliness, a cross-generational friendship, and the spiritual importance of listening.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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