Off the Black
In director James Ponsoldt's gentle drama, an unlikely bond forms between high school baseball pitcher Dave Tibbel (Trevor Morgan) and reclusive, ailing umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte) after Ray catches the youngster vandalizing his home. Ray offers to forgive Dave's debt if he'll pose as Ray's estranged son at an upcoming class reunion. Meanwhile, Dave contends with his withdrawn father (Timothy Hutton), who's been a wreck since his wife left him.
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- James Ponsoldt
- This movie is
YesLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 StereoOther features
Color; interactive menus; scene access.
Off the BlackClose
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this often-uncomfortable indie drama revolves around a teen boy who hangs out with a dissolute, dying older man who becomes a questionable mentor-father figure (he turns the kid on to alcohol, etc.). The older man, Ray, spends his days smoking, drinking, and dealing with the negative consequences of his actions. Viewers who can look at Ray from a somewhat sophisticated perspective -- he doesn't get obsessed with bitter regrets or the obvious lessons of his bad choices -- won't notice (or miss) the absence of the expected preaching. But teens may not take away the same message. Be ready for frank locker-room language, as well as a false accusation of pedophilia.
- Sexual Content
- Slanderous school-hall talk about a child-molesting relationship between Dave and Ray. Obscene vandal drawings.
- The main character pulls a gun on some teen vandals.
- Locker-room talk. Swear words include "s--t" other crude language includes "dick."
- Social Behavior
- Dissolute, lying Ray is a poor role model -- so bad that a judge took away his own son -- despite the fact that he attempts to offer some worthy life lessons (mostly vague statements about following your "inner voice"). Dave seems like a good, steady kid, but he commits an act of vandalism, and it's suggested that he'll ultimately desert his own heartbroken father (unless Ray's example changes his mind).
- Product cameos include the infamous Ginsu knife infomercial.
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- A woman who's an insulin-dependent diabetic talks about being mistaken for a junkie. Ray is drunk much of the time, and many paternal heart-to-heart chats happen over cans and bottles. Ray gets underage Dave to drink for the first time. Ray also smokes and chews tobacco, despite a dire health prognosis.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it