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The Ref
The Ref
Actors: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr., Glynis Johns
Director: Ted Demme
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 33min

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 and Judy Davis) hostage. He soon finds that he go...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr., Glynis Johns
Director: Ted Demme
Creators: Don Simpson, Jeffrey Weiss, Jerry Bruckheimer, Richard LaGravenese, Ronald M. Bozman, Marie Weiss
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/04/2003
Original Release Date: 03/09/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 03/09/1994
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Randal A. (Movieran) from SATELLITE BCH, FL
Reviewed on 1/28/2014...
Very funny in parts. A little hollywood hysteria, but it is meant to be comedy.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 10/10/2012...
As usual, Judy Davis shines. This movie is a bit far fetched, but has some really great, funny moments. Worth watching
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Veronika B.
Reviewed on 12/27/2011...
I love this movie. We watch it every year at Christmas. We had to wait until our kids were old enough to watch it with us, now they enjoy it as much as we do. The family interactions are realistic and hilarious.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nancy W. from CHARLOTTE, NC
Reviewed on 4/1/2011...
Was a wonderful break from everyday hum drums! Laughed a lot and so did the husband. We enjoyed it and will watch it another time just to enjoy the humor!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

My Favorite Christmas Movie
David Kleist | 06/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Okay: if the "eff" word offends you, don't buy this video. However, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family in which your parents argued about absolutely anything while you were required to cheer, you'll love this comic holiday tale of a burglar who wanted simply to make his last heist and retire to the islands. Unfortunately, he's attacked by the dog Cannibal; his alcoholic partner deserts him; and he kidnaps a couple who resembles his own parents: two chronic arguers who would pick at each other at the very edge of doom. My mom was obsessed with certain Scandinavian traditions, and when the comedy cuts to a Swedish sit-down feast during which all participants wear garlands of candles and eat traditional Swedish food, I practically go into cardiac arrest. This is not only one of the funniest films ever made, but also it is an accurate portrayal of the nightmare which Christmas becomes for so many middle-class families. Dennis Leary, Kevin Spacey, and Judy Davis are brilliant beyond belief in their rapid-fire deliveries of sadistic sarcasm. Buy it; savor it. Ho ho ho!"
My favorite Christmas movie
Robin Wolfson | Cameron Park, CA USA | 06/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's true. This is my favorite Christmas movie. Now, be warned, you have to be a fan of smart, talky movies (think of comedies from the thirties and forties). The uniting of Judy Davis, Denis Leary, and Kevin Spacey was inspired, and Christine Baranski and Glynis Johns (one of my favorite stars when I was a kid) provide extra pith to an already pith-laden production.Now you know, of course, that whenever you get Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary in one film there's going to a lot of talking and a lot of ranting, and the rants are truly delicious, topped off with Spacey's line: "The corpse has the floor!"Judy Davis more than holds her own with Spacey and Leary, and B. D. Wong is delightful as the overwhelmed psychotherapist. As everyone gets a number in a musical, everyone gets a rant in The Ref, reminding us again of why two people argue: because they're both right.Give yourself a treat and don't wait for Christmas to watch this one."
The Ref: An Underappreciated Sleeper
moreland98 | 12/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you're looking for an intelligent, witty, and biting comedy, you'll find exactly what you want with Ted Demme's THE REF. A first-rate cast (headed by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, multi-nominated Judy Davis, and a surprisingly full-rounded performance by Denis Leary) takes you into the lives of an unhappily married couple and their down-on-his-luck kidnapper on Christmas Eve in a wealthy suburban Connecticut town. Other invaluable cast members include Glynis Johns, Christine Baranski, Raymond J. Barry and a cameo by Broadway's B.D. Wong. In what must be considered a "black comedy", Spacey and Davis throw verbal knives at each other throughout the course of the film, all with an underlying knowledge of their love for each other. Be prepared to laugh out loud at a one-liner one minute, and to be touched and heartwarmed the next. I have watched this film over and over again, without ever failing to enjoy it from start to finish. PERSONAL NOTE: I remember Gene Siskel reviewing this picture when it first came out. He commented on how the "villain" was bald and was named Siskel. He took this as a personal affront, which I find absolutely ridiculous. First of all, Siskel is not the villain, and the fact that he was played by a bald actor (JK Simmons) was coincidental. I never seemed to have the same regard for Gene Siskel after that review."