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Off the Map (2005)

Valentina de Angelis , Joan Allen , Campbell Scott  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

Price: $34.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Valentina de Angelis, Joan Allen, Sam Elliott, Amy Brenneman, J.K. Simmons
  • Directors: Campbell Scott
  • Writers: Joan Ackermann
  • Producers: Campbell Scott, David Newman, George VanBuskirk, Jonathan Filley, Martin Garvey
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 9, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009S4J1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,704 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Off the Map" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Off the Map avoids conventional drama (hardly any event leads to an outcome you could expect) but the lean, sharp dialogue and superb performances make this movie a rich, human comedy. A young girl named Bo, living in the New Mexico desert, rebels against her bohemian parents by reading Forbes magazine and applying for credit cards. Her father Charley (Sam Elliott, Tombstone) has sunk deep into a paralyzing depression; her resilient, industrious mother Arlene (Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger) alternates between gently supporting Charley and railing against his zombie-like state. Into this off-balance family comes a tax auditor (Jim True-Frost, Singles), who--after being stung by a bee and lapsing into a sudden fever--becomes an accidental catalyst for change. In her movie debut as Bo, Valentina de Angelis gives a wonderful performance, head and shoulders above most actors her age. Campbell Scott's direction, as with his first film Big Night, is warm but not sappy; he has a gift for letting a story wander without it ever getting lost. The New Mexico landscape glows in the sun and helps give Off the Map a quiet but mysterious vision of life. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

In the middle of the desert landscape of northern New Mexico, an extraordinary family is on a journey of self-discover. In a place that seems off the map, their lives are transformed as they find success in their own subtle ways. Campbell Scott directs

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
"Off the Map" reminded me a bit of "Lost in Translation." The stories are completely different, of course. But there is a similarity in tone and texture. Both movies are more interested in showing the audience how their characters change and evolve than in advancing a traditional plot with a conflict and resolution. Some people who disliked "Lost" might like "Off the Map." However, I'm almost certain that anyone who did like "Lost" will find this movie as equally enjoyable.

The plot of this movie has been written about several times here so I won't repeat most of it. Briefly, it's about a family of three, two parents and a young girl, who live in a secluded house in New Mexico (no running water, no electricity) and live on less than $5000 a year, who are visited by a young inexperienced IRS agent. The story is about how they all change as their lives intertwine in the midst of the beauty of the New Mexico high desert.

New Mexico in itself is a character in this movie. I briefly lived in Santa Fe and I completely related to the IRS agent's feeling of awe and inspiration. Unlike some other viewers, however, I felt that the movie failed to convey some of the majesty of the region. In one of the extras on the DVD the producers talked about how they didn't want to make the scenery "too beautiful," as if it were some form of tourism porno. Perhaps the problem is that I saw the movie on the small screen and not the theater because it seemed to me that they went too far in the other direction. I have stood in the desert, like the IRS agent, and felt overwhelmed and inspired. I understood the character's reaction, but didn't really see why he was reacting the way he did within the context of what they were showing in the movie.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, mesmerizing, spiritually intense July 29, 2008
By Luca
The gentle rhythm of the movie is a gesture that penetrates the mysterious glow of nature with intense wisdom. I cannot recommend this movie enough. Director Campbell Scott accentuates the poetry of nature through a stark depiction of a land stripped of human adulteration. The movie is an adaptation of Joan Ackerman's play that centers on the isolated Groden family, Arlene (Joan Allen), Charley (Sam Elliott), and their precocious daughter Bo (Valentina de Angelis) who live in a state of depressed civilization, an abode that is under a spell of an involuted economy where money is but an afterthought and nature the true protagonist. The Groden family has no phone, no running water, no tv, and no neighbors aside from coyotes and bears, both of which end up dead in a ritual of nature that will have you transcend the usual materialist self-serving appropriation of the symbiotic aggregates of life. Survival is more of an internal issue for the family rather than an economic one. Civilization seems to have been dismissed in favor of a love for their landscape and the appeal of a spiritual dynamism that has yet to be "put on the map" by the commercial prints of the "world".
One day a hapless IRS agent, William Gibbs (Jim True-Frost), arrives at their house for an auditing, issued by the government, for the Grodens had not filed in seven years. A Massachusetts native who has transfer to Albaquerque and adopted a new profession, which has buried him deeper into the symptoms that distinguish a cog in the wheel of our civilized machine. The agent will become enchanted with the lifestyle, the landscape and the bewitching simplicity that nestles the Grodens everyday existence.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Charley (Sam Elliot) and Arlene (Joan Allen) live in a small home out in the middle-of-nowhere (New Mexico) with their twelve year old daughter Bo (Valentina De Angelis). Pennyless, they survive by trading what they grow in the garden for whatever essentials they need. It's a quiet, simple and relatively happy life for the Grodin's until Charley unexpectedly falls into a deep, prolonged depression. Now lost somewhere in his own inner world he has become almost immobile, uncommunicative and does little else but cry and drink water to replenish his bodily fluids.

Going bad to worse an IRS agent named William Gibbs (Jim True-Frost) appears on their doorstep to audit the Grodin's who haven't filed a tax return in six years. William is immediately bitten by a bee and has an allergic reaction, forcing him to remain with the Grodin's until he's feeling better. When he recovers he appears somehow different than he was upon arrival. Was it the bee sting, the Grodin's bohemian lifestyle or the enchanted New Mexico landscape that has brought about this profound change in their unexpected guest? William has discovered that "New Mexico is a very powerful place."

The film moves at a very slow, protracted pace in tune with the directorial objective of establishing the meaninglessness of time when living "off the map" and free of the constraints of jobs, schedules and responsibilities. If you're not prepared to give your full attention to the film from the beginning you are likely to quickly lose interest, but if you give yourself over to the experience and allow the New Mexico desert to envelope you a multi-faceted gem of a story awaits.

Marvelous performances by all, but the real star of this film is little Valentina De Angelis. She's definitely destined for greatness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky
Since I love New Mexico and Sam Elliott I figured this couldn't miss. I was so surprised to find this would go into my top 10 favorite movies ever. Read more
Published 15 days ago by W, Louise Lightfoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I love this movie. My DVD disappeared somewhere along the years, so when I wanted to watch it again and it wasn't available on any streaming media, I did like I always do - Went to... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Finnegan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great flick
It was excellent acting, thought provoking and powerful. No violence, just a good story about life. Too many required words
Published 29 days ago by Carr Abernethy
5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite movie of mine
I love this movie primarily because of the wonderful acting, meaningful territory covered,
and the resilience of the child coming through.
Published 1 month ago by Earthmother11
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
One of the best films ever watched! Love the creativity and the lessons - between the lines. Check it out!
Published 1 month ago by J. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece; better every time...
A great American film, nearly perfect. Ranks with "Magnolia", "The Tree of Life", and as the best three US films of the past decade or so. Read more
Published 1 month ago by RGBiv
4.0 out of 5 stars first time I've seen Sam Elliott do some real acting
An excellent cast and unusual story line bring an offbeat coming of age saga to life. Couple that with the geography of New Mexico, which is in itself an allegory, and you have... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
An excellent film about what is truly important in life. The beautiful New Mexico scenery adds to the story line.
Published 3 months ago by Allison Balas
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite movie ever
I watched this movie so many times. It is beautiful, sensitive, clever, funny. It has New Mexico magic in it. Great acting, amazing script. Highly recommended :).
Published 3 months ago by Danit Eliav
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
Just a beautiful film. Everything a film should be & more. It is definitely got it's own style. It makes me happy to see films like this being made with such an authentic essence... Read more
Published 4 months ago by sharon barton
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