Off the Black (2006)

Nick Nolte returns to the screen in Off the Black, a drama about some wrong turns in life. Nolte plays Ray Cook, a washed up, alcoholic, high school baseball umpire who makes some controversial calls in a playoff game making him unpopular with the local town folk. Cut to a bunch of teens vandalizing his house in some sort of payback activity. When Nolte catches one of the teens, he cuts a deal to repair the property damage to avoid police involvement. This all culminates when he asks the teen to play his son at a high school reunion.

While the premise had potential, Off the Black failed to execute. What results is a slowly paced, meandering plot that chronicles two drunks- one over age, and one under. Neither can ever live up to their potential, and neither does this film.

Off the Black is "off the mark" as far as I'm concerned. No one in their right mind would read the screenplay and think it would be worth making into a film- and yet they did.

Overall Grade: C-

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