Twelve Days of Christmas Movie Scenes: The Ref

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Long before Denis Leary was everyone’s favorite drunken, womanizing, dead people-seeing fireman in Rescue Me, he was a stand-up comic trying to cut his teeth on the big screen. As such, most of his early films were of the forgettable variety: Who’s the Man?, Gunmen, Judgment Night, Operation Dumbo Drop, Two If By Sea. Not exactly a murderer’s row of award-winning blockbusters. However, smack dab in the middle of the duds was a movie perfectly suited to Leary’s abrasive, acerbic style.

Directed by the late Ted Demme, The Ref cast Leary as a cranky burglar who — in order to avoid incarceration — takes a suburban family hostage on Christmas eve. Hilarity ensues after the bickering brood start airing their dirty laundry in what amounts to a 90-minute therapy session with Leary in the role of marriage counselor. Oh, and he beats up Santa Claus too.

Scott Tunstall

Contributor at Gunaxin
Scott is the former Associate Editor of Gunaxin.
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