6.9/10
21,601
119 user 48 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,310 ( 604)

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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:

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:

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

In this film, Kevin Spacey's character's wife's name is Caroline. In American Beauty (1999), his character's wife's name is Carolyn. 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: Great, I hijacked my fucking parents.
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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

 
Change of pace seasonal favorite, but good at any time of year
6 December 2006 | by txspartanmjrtomSee 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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