6.9/10
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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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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:

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

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 the police are watching "It's a Wonderful Life" in the station, they are watching the scene where Mary loses her clothing and hides in the bushes. The Chief then walks in with the surveillance tape and they proceed to record "It's a Wonderful Life" over the surveillance, though it is a scene that takes place much later in the movie, long after the scene where Mary hides in the bushes after losing her clothes. See more »

Quotes

Gus: From now on, the only person who gets to yell is me. Why? Because I have a gun. People with guns get to do whatever they want. Married people without guns - for instance - you - DO NOT get to yell. Why? NO GUNS! No guns, no yelling. See? Simple little equation.
See more »

Connections

Features It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Christmas
Written by Billy Hayes & Jay Johnson
Arranged by Joe Mulherin
Performed by Joyce Cobb
See more »

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User Reviews

funny as hell!
3 December 2004 | by goldyfish25See all my reviews

My favorite line of all time is from this movie- when Lloyd tells his mother next Christmas he's going to buy her a big wooden cross, so anytime she feels unappreciated or un-loved she can climb on up there and nail herself to it! This movie is definitely on my top ten list. The acting is awesome! The timing and delivery of lines is right on! It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those of us who love this kind of humor its a sure classic! The casting was superb! I cant see anyone else playing those parts. This is the movie that turned me onto Kevin Spacey- and he is still my favorite actor ever! This is also the funniest movie I've ever seen Denis Leary in. His brand of humor combined with Kevin Spacey's wit is the stuff dreams are made of.


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