6.9/10
22,215
120 user 50 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
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:

The Ref See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,044,097, 13 March 1994

Gross USA:

$11,439,193

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Denis Leary, a stand-up comic known for his rants put himself into Murray, at the end of the film, where Gus rants on at Murray about what he's going to do to him when they get back. 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: Sounds too sweet!
Caroline: Then don't eat it!
[Throws pie down on the table]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Best! Movies! Ever!: Rants (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Broken Circles
Written and Produced by Ke Grivois, Bruce Roberts & Maurice Gallegos
Performed by Ke Grivois
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I loved this movie!
18 August 2002 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

The 1994 film 'The Ref' is absolutely hilarious.

Denis Leary is great as Gus, a burglar who takes Lloyd Chasseur (Kevin Spacey) and Lloyd's wife Caroline (Judy Davis) hostage in their own home at Christmas, to hide himself from police. Unfortunately for Gus, this couple aren't exactly the Leave it to Beaver family. They rant and rave the whole way through the film, even though Gus is holding a gun to their head. Of course, we know Gus is would never hurt anyone but it's still funny because Lloyd and Caroline don't!

The acting is superb, and the ending is hilarious. The whole Christmas dinner scene is possibly the best in the film. Spacey and Davis sound like a real squabbling couple, and their character's son Jesse (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) is a teenage rebel, who causes Gus even more trouble. Not only does this film serve for side splitting laughs, but also for additional fun, because you can always point out that Lloyd and Caroline sound like you and your spouse! (Actually, no, not a good idea!)

Overall, I really loved this movie, and think it's a sadly forgotten, underrated comic gem. You won't be disappointed!


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