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Off the Black (2006)

 -  Drama  -  8 December 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,053 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 18 user | 30 critic | 20 from

An aging, disillusioned alcoholic (Nolte) gets a younger friend (Morgan) and wants him to pose as his son at a school reunion.



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Title: Off the Black (2006)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Tibbel
Ray Cook
Thomas Schall ...
Male Parent #1
Male Parent #2
Paul Michaels
Todd Hunter
Sonia Feigelson ...
Ashley Tibbel
Mr. Tibbel
Darrell Larson ...
Man in Doctor's Office
Richard Terwilliger ...
Nancy (as Marlyne Afflack)
Michael Higgins ...
Al Cook


An aging, disillusioned alcoholic (Nolte) gets a younger friend (Morgan) and wants him to pose as his son at a school reunion.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Would you let this man be your father?



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a crude sexual remark | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Off the Black  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,763 (USA) (8 December 2006)


$24,035 (USA) (9 February 2007)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Ray comes to pick up Dave for the reunion, Dave comes downstairs carrying a corsage in a plastic box. When Dave asks Ray if he's going to call him "son" all day, the box and flower disappear. See more »


References Doctor Zhivago (1965) See more »


Ain't That Good
Written by Eddie Floyd and Booker T. Jones
Performed by Eddie Floyd and Mavis Staples
Courtesy of Stax Records
By arrangment with Concord Music Group, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Film works because of the withered poignancy found in America's most tired actor
9 April 2007 | by (SoFla, UsA) – See all my reviews

This low-key character study, mixing humor and depression to a tender effect, paints a picture of this odd coupling between an elderly bitter drunk and the teenage pitcher responsible for vandalizing his property with a fairly charming success rate. Off the Black is a noteworthy minor work that completely thrives off of the gruff charisma lead Nick Nolte injects into an otherwise typically off-beat, indie-mannered screenplay dabbling in peculiar friendship. The script, while appealing enough to attract the likes of a fine actor such as Nolte (a fact rendered even more impressive given it is a first time feature effort from newcomer James Ponsoldt), really would not have been able to shine unless this perfect spot of casting had fallen into place.

The movie works, and works best, only when Nolte's scenery chewing antics are present, and in retrospect, the entire piece, while gracefully dealing in issues of family, isolationism, and connectivity, is really just a 90 minute excuse for one of America's bona fide talents to flex his considerable sandpaper-throated heft around in a role that was clearly conceived with him in mind. It is not so much Nolte's outstanding talent as a diversified actor that has made him survive and stay relevant these few decades as it has been his continuing effort to refine his natural instincts to help make his character's all seem completely believable and unquestionably human. With his continued approach for taking lower profile but higher developed material as of late, this performance continues the respectably eclectic, under-the-radar winning streak with a front and center take that puts the legend square in his element. Add the believable high school sensitivities from costar Trevor Morgan into the mix and we have a pleasing relationship movie with some dynamics that really work.

So where does Off the Black fail? Quite simply in all other scenes not showcasing these two main characters together. Ponsoldt tries to detail the reality behind the young man's life with little success, instead falling prey to the usual pratfalls of underdeveloped subplot and supporting roles. Directed in a straightforward way though at times impressively framed, any immersion garnered throughout the modest film will remain Nick Nolte's chief responsibility.

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