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Catch Me If You Can

Biography . Crime . Drama

Frank W. Abagnale Jr. is a cunning con man -- posing as a doctor, lawyer and pilot all before turning 21. He's also a deft forger, and his work attracts the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who makes it his mission to put Frank behind bars. But Frank not only eludes capture, he revels in the pursuit, even taking time to taunt Carl by phone.

Actors: Brian Howe , James Brolin , Amy Adams , Martin Sheen , Christopher Walken , Tom Hanks , Leonardo DiCaprio , Frank John Hughes , Steve Eastin , Chris Ellis
Directors: Steven Spielberg
Country: USA , CANADA
Release: 2002-12-25
More Info:
  • Nathan Rabin

    Part of Spielberg's skill as a filmmaker comes in choosing the right collaborators. Janusz Kaminski's gorgeous cinematography, Michael Kahn's graceful editing, Jeff Nathanson's clever script, and John Williams' score all work well in unison, but the film's masterstroke is the casting of Walken as DiCaprio's utterly decent father.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    It's brilliantly acted. But best of all, it's brilliantly made.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    It's the most charming and buoyant film Spielberg's ever made.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    Supremely entertaining.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Ansen

    Never less than engaging; all that’s missing is a proper crescendo. The picture moves along briskly, even at two and a half hours, but it seems to be running on cruise control.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Richard Schickel

    Results in about the nicest movie you could ask for at the holidays: a gently funny, sweetly adventurous film that makes you feel genuinely good, that is to say, entirely unconned by false sentiment or sharp, overmanipulative Hollywood practices.

    Time Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Everything about this swift and gorgeous and tremendously enjoyable film is played out in a rush of staccato edits, crisp performances, and charmingly giddy subplots that coalesce into Spielberg's most purely entertaining movie in years.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Nothing if not a celebration of our willingness to be gulled by life's charming strangers.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • John Powers

    As an actor DiCaprio has long been known for his ardor, not to mention his tiresome self-seriousness, but working for Spielberg, he plays his scenes with a comic deftness I thought he didn't have in him.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    Breezy and easy to swallow. Its maker, Steven Spielberg, hasn't had so much fun in two decades.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Feels more like The Bill Clinton Story than "Primary Colors" (1998). It's a paean to naughty boys who dream of potency and become enraptured by their own scams -- a great American archetype.

    Slate Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Like a trot around the track for the thoroughbreds involved, and one of the results is that it takes them far too long to get to the finish line.

    Variety Full Review
  • Stanley Kauffmann

    Spielberg directs so fluently that it takes a while to perceive how well made the film is.

    The New Republic Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    Based on the real-life exploits of Frank W. Abagnale but played more for myth than believability.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    This is not a major Spielberg film, although it is an effortlessly watchable one.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    Brilliant performances by DiCaprio as Frank Jr. and Christopher Walken as his fallen father - and an enjoyable one by Tom Hanks.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Spielberg's directing is a tad less tricky than usual, but he doesn't have much talent for psychological suspense, which is the heart of the story. DiCaprio underplays nicely and Walken is superb as the con artist's downtrodden dad.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Even in its somewhat unwieldy form, Catch Me If You Can is charming, sparkling entertainment.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jami Bernard

    A pleasant romp through the land of Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    You won't find a movie that's more fun this season -- but at 2-1/2 hours, it's probably too much of a good thing.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    In the end (and it's a happy end, to be sure), Catch Me if You Can is as crisp and trim as a new suit. Well, a new old suit - say, circa the 1960s.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    What lingers in the memory is the impression of having experienced a frolic, a ride through the park on a bright winter day.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    An enjoyable, although not ambitious, holiday outing.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The movie could have used a further dose of the resonance Walken gives it, and a more intellectually adventurous director might have brought the theme close to home.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Slight, enjoyable comedy.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The film's charm ends up worn out by the very perfection of Frank's con. We look at this teen wizard of rotating identity, and we realize we know everything about him except who he is.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • William Arnold

    DiCaprio could hardly be better. He brings this outrageous character and his demons to life with skill, sympathy and a symphony of small, telling touches.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Rick Kisonak

    We aren't talking Oscar here. We're talking truly fine performances and an unexpectedly hep John Williams score. We are talking a story that rollicks with the most rollicking of them. Not great cinema; just a great time at the movies and certainly a film well worth catching if you can.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Breezily enjoyable but thin.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    For all his genre-hopping and shape-shifting Spielberg seems to have become too big to tell small stories, which is one reason why the film sputters on one too many false endings.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    Catch offers mild fun but never as much as its animated '60s-retro opening credits portend. They're the cutest of the year.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    Spielberg's inchoate attempts at cultural observation stretch the movie out and dilute the giddiness instead of adding a pleasurable spike. When the movie doesn't feel inflated, it feels soggy.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    The whole lighter-than-air lark whizzes by like a brisk, kandy-kolored dream of the 1960s, flavored by a Saul Bass inspired credit sequence; a slinky, Henry Mancini-esque score; and a stunning array of period sets and evocative locales.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Charles Taylor

    Well-enough made and highly watchable, but it lacks the one thing that would put some swing in its step and some swagger in its attitude: a sense of jazz. Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    What begins brightly gets bogged down over 140 minutes. A film that took off like a hare on speed ends like a winded tortoise.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    DiCaprio is far more successfully cast here than in Gangs of New York: His performance is all about acting; it's a mild kick to see how he'll manage to talk his way out of nearly every scrape.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Denby

    Spielberg must have sensed that he owed us some fun, and the movie has a sleek and carefree look -- the lightness of a sixties comedy, made with the extraordinary speed and panache of our most fluent director. This is a true holiday film, a gift from some genuine pros who know how to entertain without sweat. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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