6.9/10
21,598
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

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

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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Get A Life
Written and Performed by David A. Stewart
David A. Stewart courtesy of Anxious/East West Records
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User Reviews

 
Lloyd and Lester
12 January 2005 | by abelardo64See all my reviews

Have you noticed? Lloyd, Kevin Spacey's character in "The Ref" is closely related to Lester, Kevin Spacey's character in "American Beauty" if you see both movies, back to back, you'll notice the astonishing similarities between the two. Twins? Maybe. If they are, or were, poor Lester, a lot of things will become immediately clear. To start with, he had Glynis Johns for a mother. Miss Jones creates such a frighteningly funny portrait of a castrating mother that Lester's emasculation is perfectly explained. Not to mention their choice of spouses, time bombs Judi Davis and Annette Bening This little piece of trivia will add, to the considerable pleasures of this delightful and underrated Ted Demme's dark fairy tale. The opening at the marriage counselor's office is just superb, I can see it endlessly, it never fails to make me laugh. Kevin Spacey and Judi Davis are a couple part Edward Albee part Terence Rattigan. They are priceless. Dennis Leary's energy is contagious and relentless. His best part to date. The clunky sub plot involving their son and, what it appears, like a hurried ending, doesn't spoil the fun. The writing by the brilliant Richard LaGravenesse and Marie Weiss is pure joy. Ideal to see with a bunch of friends.


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