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Catch Me If You Can
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief language

***1/4 out of 4 Stars, Movie Grade: A-

Released December 25, 2002

Running time: 140 minutes

by Kevin Lang

Based on a true story, "Catch Me If You Can," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, told of the unique events spanning a period of several years in the life of con artist, Frank Abagnale Jr.

Abagnale successfully impersonated a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, and an airplane pilot, not to mention stealing well over a million dollars by cashing fraudulent checks. Tom Hanks played Agent Carl Hanratty, the FBI agent after Abagnale. He chased Abagnale around the country and eventually into France, always practically one step behind him.

Although "Catch Me If You Can" never turned into the more serious drama that I thought it would, Steven Spielberg did a commendable job in making a well-crafted film whose story kept a consistent tone while providing an interesting look at Abagnale. Spielberg gave us a sense of what may have led Abagnale to perform the crimes he did. His father, Frank Sr., had cheated the IRS, and lost their home as a result. This eventually in part led Abagnale's parents getting a divorce, and instead of choosing which parent to live with, Frank ran away from home at the age of seventeen. He soon began his new life to escape the one that had crumbled around him, out of his control.

The majority of the movie consisted of a montage of Frank's different identities, all of which he successfully pulled off without getting caught. This was perhaps the most fascinating thing about "Catch Me If You Can." That at seventeen-years-old, Abagnale was able to fool as many people as he did, even impersonating a CIA agent at one point in order to fool Hanratty himself.

The consistent and almost unchanging tone of "Catch Me If You Can" did cause the movie to drag a little near the end, especially because the story never really built up to a significant climax. Yet, the resolution was satisfying for the story that had been told, and knowing that the film was based on a true story made it even more enjoyable as I realized that everything that Abagnale did had actually been possible. With an enjoyable performance by Tom Hanks as the always too serious Hanratty, "Catch Me If You Can" was a well-made film that will leave you pleased in the end.

"Catch Me If You Can" Review written December 23, 2002, CTF.


"Catch Me If You Can"

READ Catch Me if You Can

Catch Me If You Can:
The Amazing True Story of
the Most Extraordinary Liar in
the History of Fun and Profit.

Catch Me If You Can DVD

DVD Features:
* "Catch Me if You Can": Behind the Camera
* Cast Me if You Can: The Casting of the Film
* Scoring "Catch Me if You Can"
* Frank Abagnale: Between Reality and Fiction
* The FBI Perspective
* "Catch Me if You Can": In Closing
* Photo galleries
* Cast
* Filmmakers
* Production notes

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