I thought that the writing of this film was pretty good. It's not the standard family Christmas dramedy because it deals with topics that are quite a bit darker than the usual dealing with a death in the family. It still hit many of the beats of the genre, but that's fine, because it does bring enough new to the table to still feel fresh. The characters are well-developed, and the humor in the film is dark, but extremely funny, making for an enjoyable viewing experience overall.
The acting in the film is very good. Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey both give very funny performances. Jody Davis, who I wasn't as familiar with, also gives a good performance. The rest of the actors all have supporting roles, but B.D. Wong and J.K. Simmons both give memorable cameos. The cinematography of the film is also very good, with a lot of interesting shots building tension.
So overall, "The Ref" is a funny, well-acted Christmas dramedy, but it does have it's fair share of flaws. This may just make its way onto my yearly viewing list.
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: Netflix.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.