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.
Full Review

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.
Full Review

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
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.
Full Review

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
There's something very right with Off the Black in terms of pure emotion and performance craft.
Full Review

TV Guide

By Ken Fox
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

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Hartlaub
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

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
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

Film Threat

By Eric Campos
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.
Full Review


By James Berardinelli
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.
Full Review

New York Post

By Kyle Smith
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."
Full Review
62 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.