The Ref - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ref Reviews

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Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
December 29, 2013
A genuinely hysterical anti-holiday comedy.
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
December 6, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 6, 2013
The Ref benefits from having actor's actors like Davis and Spacey in the leads.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
December 6, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 6, 2013
It's not a bad idea, but it's not a good movie, either.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 6, 2013
Whether it's a function of sloppy editing or sloppy writing, few of these supporting players and their accompanying subplots pay off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 6, 2013
The Ref is a powerfully funny adult comedy. It skewers marriage, suburban values and the trendy belief that everyone is a victim of something.
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun
December 6, 2013
The trouble with The Ref is that it keeps running out of steam, so it seems to develop a new plot wrinkle every seven minutes. Typically, it'll run through the new idea until it runs out of steam again, then invents yet another one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ralph Novak
People Magazine
December 6, 2013
While director Ted Demme seems to be trying to impose a Home Alone tone, he only succeeds in lending an air of desperation, with lame subplots blundering into the picture.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
A foulmouthed sitcom of a film.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
The Ref works virtually none of the miracles of [Richard LaGravenese's screenplay for The Fisher King,] his previous mix 'n' match effort.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 27, 2007
What makes most of this work is the brio of the acting, though the direction by Ted Demme and the script by Richard LaGravenese and Marie Weiss certainly don't hurt.

TV Guide
December 4, 2006
It's cynical, mean-spirited and, at least at first, viciously funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
In his first starring role, comedian Leary makes his ranting career criminal strangely sympathetic.
David Medsker
December 24, 2005
The Ref is the one Christmas movie that I can relate to.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Alan Dale
December 19, 2005
[Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey] play this strident high comedy duet with a self-sustaining brio that easily puts them on the level of the stars of Twentieth Century, The Awful Truth, The Philadelphia Story, and His Girl Friday.
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
December 21, 2004
Dennis Leary's shining hour. His stand-up persona's greatest moment and it was all down hill from there.
| Original Score: 4/5
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
October 7, 2004
One of the most underrated comedies of the 1990s
| Original Score: 4/5
Ryan Cracknell
Movie Views
December 24, 2003
Just because The Ref isn't your typical Christmas movie doesn't mean you should skip it. In fact, it should be just the opposite.
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times
November 28, 2003
Better in hindsight than it first appeared. Leary truly rises to the challenge of acting opposite Davis and Spacey.
| Original Score: 4/5
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