6.9/10
21,424
117 user 47 critic

The Ref (1994)

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

Director:

Ted Demme

Writers:

Marie Weiss (story), Richard LaGravenese (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Leary ... Gus
Judy Davis ... Caroline
Kevin Spacey ... Lloyd
Robert J. Steinmiller Jr. ... Jesse
Glynis Johns ... Rose
Raymond J. Barry ... Huff
Richard Bright ... Murray
Christine Baranski ... Connie
Adam LeFevre ... Gary
Phillip Nicoll Phillip Nicoll ... John
Ellie Raab Ellie Raab ... Mary
Bill Raymond ... George
John Scurti ... Steve
Jim Turner ... Phil
Herbie Ade 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Egy híján túsz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,044,097, 13 March 1994, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$11,439,193
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two films in which Kevin Spacey plays the husband in a failing marriage. The other was American Beauty five years later. 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

Rose: You're a "Wong"?
Gus: Well, my mother was Irish.
Rose: And your father?
Gus: Wasn't.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Alternative Christmas Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Holly & The Ivy
Traditional, music first published by Cecil J. Sharp (uncredited), originally arranged by H. Walford Davies (uncredited)
Arranged by Richard Harvey
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User Reviews

 
My favourite comedy movie
5 December 2004 | by beatlejuice95See all my reviews

This is an all-time classic movie, and one that my wife and I traditionally watch every Christmas. I know it's not your typical holiday film, but it is extremely funny, and because it is set around Christmas, we always try and watch it this time of year. Kevin Spacey before he hit it big, Judy Davis is incredible, and I simply love Denis Leary's work. Also Christine Baranski being very annoying/funny. Not for the easily offended for sure, but I am part of the generation that has grown up watching movies meant to shock you (Pulp Fiction, Starship Troopers, etc), and this one has plenty of shock value from the wit and vulgarness. I always laugh when I hear the banter between the main characters in the movie, plus a nice mix of physical comedy as well. Like my summary says, it is my all-time favourite comedy.


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