6.9/10
20,157
119 user 46 critic

The Ref (1994)

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

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

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

11 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy híján túsz  »

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

Appeared on Entertainment Weekly's list of The 50 Best Movies You've Never Seen in the Jul 16, 2012 issue. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Connie Chasseur: [the family is at a restaurant before they arrive] Eat up, kids. Heaven knows what we'll get at Aunt Caroline's.
John Chasseur: [Eagerly] I hope they get in another fight this year. Their fights are bitchin!
See more »

Connections

References In Society (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

O Little Town Of Bethlehem
Written by Phillips Brooks (uncredited) and Lewis H. Redner (uncredited)
Arranged by Nat 'King' Cole & Edith Bergdahl
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under lincense from CEMA Special Markets
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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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