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Off the Black

6.51 h 30 min200615
Ray is a grumpy high school baseball umpire who forms an unlikely friendship with troubled teenager Dave. As they grow dependent on each other Ray asks Dave to go to his 40th high school reunion and pretend to be his son.
James Ponsoldt
Trevor MorganNick NolteRosemarie DeWitt
None Available
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Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Timothy HuttonSally Kirkland
Scott MacaulayRobin O'Hara
Axiom Films International Ltd
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

25 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

CJReviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 April 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Verified purchase
Alan AlfredReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 May 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Three Stars
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sixstringReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 August 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
just loved it!
Verified purchase
why do you require twenty words? "i loved it" should be enough! a realistic story with a heart warming ending. i would guess Nick Nolte starred in the movie just because he liked the story as well.
AngelosReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 March 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Happy with purchase
Verified purchase
the reason I chose this product is becuase I like blu-ray movies and it works great on the playstaion or blu-ray player
Weirdling WolfReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 December 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
An irresistibly sweet-natured, blissfully unsentimental, wholly life-affirming film!
'Off the Black' (2006) is a delightfully intimate and splendidly nuanced drama with a bravura, big-hearted performance from legendary, big-screen tough guy, Nick Nolte playing Ray Cook, a grizzled, beer-soaked, high school baseball umpire, idling away his ethanol-fuzzed final years in an increasingly incapacitating solitude. After making an apparently controversial call on the baseball field, Cooke soon finds himself closely drawn to small town misfit, Dave Tibbel (Terence Morgan) a young, somewhat withdrawn, melancholy teen-aged ball player and their seemingly incongruent natures belie a great sympathy for one another. Debut writer/director, James Ponsoldt's remarkably assured, sensitively sketched film is a remarkably assured work and the arch narrative conceit of Ray asking the initially disconcerted Dave to accompany him to his 40th anniversary high school reunion as his son being adroitly handled, and the waxing of their deepening friendship is both tangible and entirely wonderful to behold. Along with Nolte's earnest and heroically heartfelt performance, the extremely experienced thespians, Sally Kirkland and Timothy Hutton deliver subtle, no less impactful performances, especially from Hutton as Dave's profoundly depressed, emotionally muted father. 'Off the Black' is divinely stirring stuff indeed and the insightful script and subtle, refined performances from a gamely committed cast lend tremendous verisimilitude to filmmaker, Ponsoldt's irresistibly sweet-natured, blissfully unsentimental, wholly life-affirming film. I must also celebrate neophyte director's sublime use of Syd Barrett's desperately fragile 'Love You' over the opening driving sequence as being a truly inspired choice of music!
Mark BarryReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 August 2007
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Little Indy Film With A Big Heart & Huge Performances
A couple of shades short of a masterpiece, "Off The Black" is still as a superlatively assured debut from a new director.

Nick Nolte plays an old-school Baseball Umpire - a 57-year old drunk by night barely holding it together on the field by day. At the very beginning of the movie, Nolte makes what most of the town considers to be a 'bad call' on the pitch of a minor Leagues game. The recipient of this gaff is a young baseball hopeful played by Trevor Morgan (looks like the son of Sean Penn and Elizabeth Hurley) and it changes both of their lives forever.

In revenge for the sending off, Morgan and two of his mouthy teammates shower Nolte's home with toilet rolls that night, spray paint his driveway with a dick drawing, brake his car window and generally vandalize his property. But the young and inexperienced Morgan gets caught in the act by a boozed-up Nolte who vows that Morgan will have to pay for his actions - in short - clean up the mess. Morgan's character David - being essentially a nice kid - agrees - and over the next few days, they enter into an unexpected and unlikely bond - David slowly becoming the son that loser Nolte never had.

While this is going on, David's real father, Timothy Hutton, offers little help to either him or his lost little sister at home. David's sister is played by Sally Kirkland - who looks like a young Natalie Portman - just as beautiful and an actress that's definitely one to watch. Hutton's character is a man who's lost his wife two years back for inexplicable reasons (possibly mental illness, maybe drink) and seems to have mentally checked-out ever since. He offers his kids mumbles at the breakfast table, distant platitudes that have no teeth. He seems more lost in his own way than Nolte's character is - and gives the two kids worry instead of real guidance when they need it the most. Both the young Morgan and Kirkland are fantastic in these scenes - displaying a confidence and calm in the presence of such big hitters as Nolte and Hutton.

Nolte gets a diagnosis from his doctor that is unsurprising given that he has a cold tin in his hand for most of the movie. There isn't much time left. Nolte then gets his annual high-school reunion of '66 invitation in the post, which he would normally bin, but not this year. He persuades young David to accompany him to the reunion - pretending to be his son - the boy agrees. And on the story goes.

"Off The Black" is a Baseball term - it's the Umpire's call - and his call sends the Pitcher who threw the ball either into the ecstasy of winning or the misery of losing for his whole team. It's a film that has little real story but says a lot - and contains scene-stealing performances from the whole cast (most of whom are young) but especially from the gruff and growly Nolte - who could just stand there and you'd still love him...

I liked it a lot - "Off The Black" has heart and is well worth checking out. Destined I suspect to become a cult classic.
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