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Based on 20 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    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. show more

  • 75
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    As good as Nolte is, the relatively unknown Morgan matches him scene for scene. And he's not the only impressive newcomer. Remarkably, this confident indie is the first feature from writer-director Ponsoldt, who shuns any slickness to embrace the rough edges of his low-budget, bare-bones story. show more

  • 90
    The Hollywood Reporter

    Like a good pitcher, Trevor Morgan varies his emotions and perfectly grooves his role as the high-school star. Huffing and puffing, Nolte plops around with brilliant finesse, smartly exposing this frustrated old ballplayer's inside strength and fears. show more

  • 75
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    There's something very right with Off the Black in terms of pure emotion and performance craft. show more

  • 75
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    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. show more

  • 75
    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. show more

  • 63
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    I appreciate that Ponsoldt doesn't go for cheap tears through over-sentimentality, but his detached, low-key approach distances viewers from the characters. I watched the drama unfold from afar but was never involved on an emotional level. show more

  • 25
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    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." show more

  • 70
    Eric Campos Film Threat

    It's a touching story of father and son type male bonding -- male bonding with Nick Nolte no less -- that's bound to find some audience members blubbering by film's end. show more

  • 83
    Entertainment Weekly

    Sucking at the top of many a can, and greedily slurping the sides of an overflowing bottle, Nolte gives a master class in how to drink a beer on screen. The rest of his work here is sad, understated, and worth seeking out. show more

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