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
Phillip Nicoll ...
John
Ellie Raab ...
Mary
...
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:

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:

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

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

Murray: [On the phone] How do I know this is Gussy?
Gus: Because the next time I see you I'm gonna tear all the hair outta your balls ONE BY ONE, you fuckin' mule! How about that?
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Connections

Referenced in American Beauty (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Christmas Song
Written by Mel Tormé & Robert Wells
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license 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!


26 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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