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The Ref (1994)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  9 March 1994 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 15,916 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 39 critic

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gus
...
...
...
...
...
Richard Bright ...
Murray
...
...
Gary Chasseur
Phillip Nicoll ...
John Chasseur
Ellie Raab ...
Mary Chasseur
...
George
...
Lt. Steve Milford
...
Phil
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:

They might be his hostages but what they're doing to this guy is criminal. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ref  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$11,439,193 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Gus is in the car with Lloyd and Caroline and Lloyd runs a stop sign, Caroline is clearly not wearing a seat belt as she looks behind the car. Once the three are facing forward again, the seat belt is magically across her chest. See more »

Quotes

Gus: The Army? What the fuck? What am I, Oswald, here?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Broken Circles
Written and Produced by Ke Grivois, Bruce Roberts & Maurice Gallegos
Performed by Ke Grivois
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A quirky Christmas Story
28 December 2004 | by (Chesapeake, VA) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed the Ref immensely. It is an off-beat change of pace from most Christmas feel-good movies, yet it still comes together in the end. Denis Leary is very convincing as the successful cat burglar caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Christine Baransky plays a delightfully deranged sister in law who is more interested in money and appearances than in family or Christmas. Kevin Spacey proves that he can play any part from milk toast nagged husband to serial killer.

One caution, though- if you are offended by cursing, then this movie is not for you. There is a great deal of cursing in it. If you've seen any of Denis Leary's stand-up, then you know what to expect, but if you want a Christmas movie to watch with the kids, go find A Christmas Story, Eloise at Christmastime or It's a Wonderful Life. Anything but this one!


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