Catch Me If You Can worth the chase


Jan. 14, 2003, midnight | By Alexa Scott | 21 years, 1 month ago

Leonardo DiCaprio makes a full-blown comeback in this thrilling Spielberg film. In one of two holiday released movies he starred in, DiCaprio returns to the wide screen with class. He plays Frank Abagnale, a master of deception who travels across the country and around the world posing as an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. Although brilliant at playing these roles, Frank is a master of check fraud above all and manages to steal millions of dollars as a minor.


Leonardo DiCaprio makes a full-blown comeback in this thrilling Spielberg film. In one of two holiday released movies he starred in, DiCaprio returns to the wide screen with class. He plays Frank Abagnale, a master of deception who travels across the country and around the world posing as an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. Although brilliant at playing these roles, Frank is a master of check fraud above all, and manages to steal millions of dollars as a minor.

Frank Abagnale starts his con-man career when his parents, played by Christopher Walken and Nathalie Baye, decide to get a divorce and ask him to choose which parent to live with. Instead, he runs away and begins stumbling across ways to make it big. Pulling off slick moves he learned from his a father, also a man in trouble with law, Frank slides his way into learning the business of becoming someone he's not.

Well directed, with a very direct way of telling a complicated story, the film manages to keep a sense of suspense, even though the movie begins with Frank's capture. The film follows Frank, but also concentrates on Carl Hanratty, played by Tom Hanks, an FBI agent assigned to catch Frank, who has rapidly become infamous among government officials.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the slow friendship that grows between Frank and Carl. Frank centers his existence around keeping one step ahead of the FBI, and Carl is bent on catching him. Throughout the drama, Frank becomes increasingly slick at pulling off check fraud. He becomes a master who is only caught because of Carl's devotion to catching him.

Although I know that I should side with the law, I find myself rooting for Frank, wanting him to continue to fool Carl and the FBI with his ingenious disguises and brilliant scams. The endearing character remains a kid, and although he often takes on adult roles, he always returns to who he truly is, someone who wants to belong somewhere and have a purpose.

Spielberg follows his trend of great movies with this film, and DiCaprio and Hanks shine in their roles. Definitely an A.

Last updated: April 23, 2021, 1:13 p.m.


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