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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 15,904 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:

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:

 »
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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: [Trying unsuccessfully to get the family to be quiet] Should I just shoot one of you in the foot, would that get the point across?
See more »

Connections

Features A Christmas Carol (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Christmas, You're Drunk And You're In Jail
Written and Performed by Adam Rush
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Change of pace seasonal favorite, but good at any time of year
6 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My absolute favorite dark comedy. All the adults in our family will put this one on after the tykes are put to bed on Christmas Eve. Side-splittingly funny, bitingly tart fun. Anyone that was raised in suburban America will be able to relate the characters to family, friends, and neighbors. Great early roles for Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis, and Christine Baranski, and the deliveries are spot on and maintain the dark comic tone throughout. First-time viewers might cringe a little at the tone early on, but will quickly warm up to it; initial "oh my's" will soon enough surrender to hearty laughter. If the holidays get ya a little overwhelmed or uptight, this will bring great relief!! Consider it a nice stiff egg nog compared to the rest of the seasonal hot cocoa. Favorite line from Christine Baranski: "Sex and drugs, and women getting set on fire ?!?! What kind of Christmas is this?"


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