Off the Map


Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. Scott has the courage to let the imaginative story unfold at its own leisurely pace, and it's not surprising that the acting is excellent, considering that he's among the very best American screen actors.
  2. 90
    A small masterpiece of tone and form.
  3. One of those sweet, intelligent, nicely made films.
  4. 88
    Off the Map is visually beautiful as a portrait of lives in the middle of emptiness, but it's not about the New Mexico scenery. It's about feelings that shift among people who are good enough, curious enough or just maybe tired enough to let that happen.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Rambles without apparent purpose, and yet it blooms in emotional impact as it goes.
  6. There's a collective scintillation about its rich, distinctive characters, narrative serendipity and ineffable magic.
  7. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    The movie's sense of place is hypnotic, but there's more to it than gorgeous images -- Campbell Scott's astute direction; Joan Allen's beautifully laconic performance; a sense of lively, if occasionally pretentious, inquiry into the wellsprings of art.
  8. 75
    The funny and heartbreaking Off the Map, directed with a poet's eye and a keen ear for nuance by Campbell Scott, resonates with something rare in today's movies: simplicity.
  9. Perhaps the most evocative movie of the new year, Campbell Scott's Off the Map, moves at the pace of a Southwestern sunset and ends before you're quite ready to let it go.
  10. This is a character study more than a forward-moving drama, plopped down with exquisite photographic care in a beautiful New Mexico desert, and starring good actors who make a feast of their flavorful roles.
  11. Directed with an easygoing grace by Campbell Scott, has the feel of a coming-of-age novel.
  12. The people are just a little too calculatedly quirky in Off the Map, an otherwise engaging comedy.
  13. It's well-written, well-cast and skillfully directed in every scene, and, at the same time, it doesn't come together with enough impact to be hugely memorable.
  14. The plot is minimal, but the film is essentially an acting showcase. Allen is excellent.
  15. 70
    Any minor flaws Off the Map has are easily forgiven by great acting and beautifully shot landscapes. Campbell Scott does a great job of adapting a stage play (by screenwriter Joan Ackerman) to film as well.
  16. 70
    Off The Map feels peculiar and remote, strangled by an air of arty disengagement. The most vivid characters are the earth and the sky, and they both give stellar performances.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Campbell Scott's latest foray behind the camera most excels as a subtly observed study of how the dynamics within a close-knit family can shift over time.
  18. With a director, screenwriter and star who have deep roots in the theater, Off the Map is more than anything an actor's film.
  19. It takes a rugged survivalist mentality to sit through 108 minutes of Off the Map, a self-consciously loopy and mystical drama about a family that lives off the map, off the grid, off the land and mostly off their meds in the mangy desert of New Mexico.
  20. Ultimately the film manages a warm, offbeat appeal despite its flaws, and it has real heart.
  21. 60
    Surprisingly, it works: The overwhelming natural expanse of the New Mexico desert is perfectly balanced by the psychic space Charley and Arlene create - the space where all the real action takes place.
  22. Simmons plays it understated, conveying a sad-sack quality that's more relatable than Charley's irrational catatonia. The movie should have been about him instead.
  23. 58
    One of those American independent films with two chief points to recommend it: the earnest good will of its creators and its determination to be unlike any studio film.
  24. 50
    A beautifully acted if fairly poky coming-of-age story.
  25. It's a disconnected, implausible story that aims for a tone of magic realism and falls short on both counts.
  26. 30
    Were it not so soporific, Off the Map could easily drive you off your nut.
  27. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Its story meanders and doesn't build, and the pace is deadly.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. CharlesM.
    Nov 10, 2005
    A little slow paced but a terrific cast and great scenery make this a treat. Joan Allen is as usual, superb as is Valentina de Angelis. Well done.
  2. DanB.
    Sep 9, 2005
    Really enjoyed the characters. A lot like Station Agent in that way.