A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
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. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The original ending had Denis Leary being caught by the cops to show the son that a life of crime leads nowhere. However, after screening the movie to a test audience and receiving negative comments about the ending, director Ted Demme changed it. He now admits he regrets changing it. See more »
At one point while in the car after taking Lloyd and Caroline hostage, tail lights disappear behind Gus in the rear view window. See more »
Have you noticed? Lloyd, Kevin Spacey's character in "The Ref" is closely related to Lester, Kevin Spacey's character in "American Beauty" if you see both movies, back to back, you'll notice the astonishing similarities between the two. Twins? Maybe. If they are, or were, poor Lester, a lot of things will become immediately clear. To start with, he had Glynis Johns for a mother. Miss Jones creates such a frighteningly funny portrait of a castrating mother that Lester's emasculation is perfectly explained. Not to mention their choice of spouses, time bombs Judi Davis and Annette Bening This little piece of trivia will add, to the considerable pleasures of this delightful and underrated Ted Demme's dark fairy tale. The opening at the marriage counselor's office is just superb, I can see it endlessly, it never fails to make me laugh. Kevin Spacey and Judi Davis are a couple part Edward Albee part Terence Rattigan. They are priceless. Dennis Leary's energy is contagious and relentless. His best part to date. The clunky sub plot involving their son and, what it appears, like a hurried ending, doesn't spoil the fun. The writing by the brilliant Richard LaGravenesse and Marie Weiss is pure joy. Ideal to see with a bunch of friends.
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