Off the Black - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Off the Black Reviews

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Nina MacLaughlin
Boston Phoenix
March 19, 2013
Nolte nails the particular tragedy of the past-his-prime ex-high-school athlete.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 21, 2011
The leads are good, and Timothy Hutton is memorably off-putting as the pitcher's disengaged dad. But having created the aching umpire, Ponsoldt occupies him with some fairly shopworn situation.
Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media
December 15, 2010
Nolte is a flawed mentor in uncertain indie drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
March 4, 2008
To put it plainly, most of Off the Black is simply terrible.
Chuck O'Leary
May 25, 2007
Ponsoldt's debut is full of quiet heartache, and effectively establishes a consistent melancholy tone. And Nolte is exceptional.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Scott Weinberg
DVD Clinic
May 2, 2007
Just a simple little "people drama," nothing more, but a very well-crafted and heartfelt one all the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Beverly Berning
April 23, 2007
"Off the Black" is writer/director James Ponsoldt's first movie...When I found out how young Ponsoldt is, only twenty-six, I was shocked that someone so young could have such insight into, and such empathy for, the existential disquietude of middle age.
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 1, 2007
A modest drama fueled by Nick Nolte's gutsy lead performance as a disheveled 57-year-old junkyard proprietor who's been as flattened by life as the rusty old cars he crushes.
| Original Score: B+
Harvey S. Karten
January 19, 2007
The material is awfully familiar, and first-time director James Ponsoldt paces the entire 90 minutes so slowly that you might think he's talking about chess rather than baseball.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
January 12, 2007
Just 'off the black' is a baseball term for a pitch that's a fraction off from being a really good strike. Same here, this movie is just a fraction off from being a really good film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ted Murphy
Murphy's Movie Reviews
January 11, 2007
OFF THE BLACK is a small picture that might get lost amidall the holiday hoopla and Oscar-bait fare that is clogging the cineplexes. It's worth seeking out; those who do will find a sweet but not saccharine story.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
December 30, 2006
Nolte almost makes it work.
Full Review | Original Score: C
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
December 27, 2006
[S]mart, bone-dry, but ultimately distant indie...
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 22, 2006
Off the Black is a small, dry, emotionally loaded short story that has been carried to film like baked fish to a platter.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 21, 2006
Writer-director James Ponsoldt's film treats big subjects -- loneliness, coming-of-age and father-son relationships -- with such half-baked conviction, it's a wonder the screen doesn't redden with embarrassment.
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
December 15, 2006
...There's nothing too small about Nolte's performance. He's the perfect companion for a rookie feature film director looking to make a good first impression.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Teresa Budasi
Chicago Sun-Times
December 15, 2006
The beauty of this film lies in its sense of promise. All the characters are in crisis, yet no one completely falls apart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 14, 2006
Throughout the film, there is a sense that the actors know a lot about these characters and that they believe in them. The result is a movie that we believe in, no matter where it goes.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 14, 2006
There's something very right with Off the Black in terms of pure emotion and performance craft.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
December 10, 2006
Tells a familiar story, but does it well enough to merit a passing grade.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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