The Ref
The Ref (1994)

Caroline and Lloyd (Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey) are a married couple constantly at each other's throats, masters at crafting acid-tongued barbs at the other's expense. Indeed, they are so obsessed with belittling each other that… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: March 9, 1994
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Undeniably uneven and too dark for some, The Ref nonetheless boasts strong turns from Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey, as well as a sharply funny script.

Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times

It's miraculous casting, and the Australian Davis -- for my money the finest actress around, bar none -- is simply uncanny in her command of East Coast gentility combined with razor-sharp timing and comedic expression.

Full review…
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

Whether it's a function of sloppy editing or sloppy writing, few of these supporting players and their accompanying subplots pay off.

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Jason Bailey

It's not just a Denis Leary vehicle. It's a real movie, with drama and grace and intelligence (and slapstick and drunk Santa gags and crude laughs).

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

The Ref benefits from having actor's actors like Davis and Spacey in the leads.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

A foulmouthed sitcom of a film.

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Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

A genuinely hysterical anti-holiday comedy.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

It's not a bad idea, but it's not a good movie, either.

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Variety Staff

The Ref works virtually none of the miracles of [Richard LaGravenese's screenplay for The Fisher King,] his previous mix 'n' match effort.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

This is a funny idea, but the movie is too thinly written to build any real credibility, and the cast rarely seems in tune with the vapid vulgarities that dominate the dialogue.

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More reviews for The Ref

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Phil Hubbs
Now this is a blast from the past, well the early 90's. Back in the days when Leary was a smokin' hot comedian but not much of a movie star and Spacey… More
What a great dark comedy. Loved every bit of this movie. Reminds me of my family. Not sure thats a good thing. A lot of laughs. Love Kevin Spacey and Denis… More
Alex roy
A smartly crafted holiday comedy film that focuses on a cat burglar who takes a dysfunctional family hostage. The Ref is a smart, funny comedy with a great… More
Film Crazy
Hysterically Funny... i think not! I thought this movie was going to be great even if the storyline had floors it would be improved because iits funny, but i… More
David Ladd
"The Ref" is one of my favorite Christmas movies, it stars Denis Leary as a cat burglar who unwittingly takes bickering couple Kevin Spacey and Judy… More
xGary Xx
An early role for Kevin Sacey as he and his wife are held hostage in their middle class suburban home by cynical crook Dennis Leary and inevitable life lessons… More

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