6.9/10
21,985
120 user 50 critic

The Ref (1994)

A cat burglar is forced to take a bickering, dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve.

Director:

Ted Demme

Writers:

Marie Weiss (story), Richard LaGravenese (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Leary ... Gus
Judy Davis ... Caroline
Kevin Spacey ... Lloyd
Robert J. Steinmiller Jr. ... Jesse
Glynis Johns ... Rose
Raymond J. Barry ... Huff
Richard Bright ... Murray
Christine Baranski ... Connie
Adam LeFevre ... Gary
Phillip Nicoll Phillip Nicoll ... John
Ellie Raab Ellie Raab ... Mary
Bill Raymond ... George
John Scurti ... Steve
Jim Turner ... Phil
Herbie Ade Herbie Ade ... Bartender
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Storyline

Denis Leary plays an unfortunate cat burglar, who is abandonded by his partner in the middle of a heist, and is forced to take an irritating Connecticut couple (Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis) hostage. He soon finds that he took more than he bargained for when the couple's blackmailing son and despicable in-laws step into the picture. Before long they're driving him nuts with their petty bickering and family problems. The only way for him to survive is to be their referee and resolve their differences, before he can be nabbed by the police. Written by Nick D. <ndoherty@imt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's taken them hostage. They're driving him nuts. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ref See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,044,097, 13 March 1994, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$11,439,193
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The marriage counselor the couple sees is named, "Dr. Wong." This character is played by actor BD Wong. See more »

Goofs

This film takes place in Connecticut. Several characters mention a county prosecutor throughout the film. Connecticut dissolved all county-level governments in 1960 and thus, there would be no such thing as a county prosecutor. In Connecticut, counties are solely geographic entities. See more »

Quotes

Lloyd: Caroline? Why don't you eat something?
Caroline: [Drunk] Loyd? Why don't you eat me?
Connie Chasseur: Kids, go to into the den. This not a conversation for children.
Rose Chasseur: It is not an apprioprate conversation for adults either.
Gus: Where are you going?
Rose Chasseur: To the living room. To leave you to your quilting. I be there to open presents. If my plans change I will contact you.
Lloyd: Why don't we all go into the living room, we'll have our drink and deserts in there.
Caroline: [to Loyd] Phoney Bastard!
Gus: Caroline, shut up.
Connie Chasseur: Let's all go to the den...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features A Christmas Carol (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Get A Life
Written and Performed by David A. Stewart
David A. Stewart courtesy of Anxious/East West Records
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User Reviews

 
The best Christmas Night movie, EVER!
17 October 2004 | by cutebutstoopidSee all my reviews

For years now, I have been able to rely on a twisted programmer at local station CFTO for the perfect antidote to a Christmas overdose to show up, right on schedule, Christmas night, or, at worst, Boxing Day Night.

This movie probably isn't as funny if you aren't already full up to your eyeballs with stockings and chestnuts and carols, but on Christmas night, this movie will have you in stitches.

The lengthy set-piece when the family finally sits down to Judy Davis' traditional Scandinavian Christmas feast has me laughing out loud every time I see it. Think: Long Day's Journey Into Night on coke. Seriously. (But in a funny way.)

Plus: Any movie that contains the line "I just punched out Santa Claus. Don't f**k with me," or words to that effect is a movie with it's heart in such a very wrong place that you just have to love it.


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