Off the Black
Off the Black (2006)

In this coming-of-age story, teenager Dave Tibbel copes with his own distant father by forming an unlikely friendship with a disheveled, irascible high school umpire, Ray Cooke. As they grow more dependent on each other, Ray asks Dave to go… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 8, 2006
DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
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Critic Score: 65% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Nick Nolte shines in his role as an irascible high school umpire, imbuing this indie coming-of-age dramedy with heft and true-to-life warmth.

J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

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.

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Ty Burr
Boston Globe

Off the Black is a small, dry, emotionally loaded short story that has been carried to film like baked fish to a platter.

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Nina MacLaughlin
Boston Phoenix

Nolte nails the particular tragedy of the past-his-prime ex-high-school athlete.

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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post

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.

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Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Nolte is a flawed mentor in uncertain indie drama.

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Noel Murray
AV Club

Nolte almost makes it work.

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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle

...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.

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Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper

To put it plainly, most of Off the Black is simply terrible.

More reviews for Off the Black

Flixster Audience Score: 59% Flixster User Reviews
Cast: Nick Nolte, Trevor Morgan, Marlyne Afflack, Timothy Hutton, Rosemarie DeWitt, Noah Fleiss, Sally Kirkland Director: James Ponsoldt Summary: An… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]"Off the Black" starts with Dave(Trevor Morgan) walking in the winning run in a high school baseball game umpired by Ray(Nick… More