Catch Me If You Can
The story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who before his 19th birthday, successfully forged over a million dollars' worth of checks.
The story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who before his 19th birthday, successfully forged over a million dollars’ worth of checks.
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A throwback to the lighthearted caper pictures consumed by a young Steve Spielberg, this nimble comedy-drama — based on a true story! — stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, whose gift for gaining people’s confidence led him to spend most of the 1960s impersonating doctors, airline pilots and Secret Service agents… which, of course, brought him to the attention of the FBI, personified here by Tom Hanks’ dogged investigator Carl Hanratty. It’s a fleet-footed entertainment that also marks a key step in DiCaprio’s transition from leading man to character actor, allowing him to hint at something empty behind his beaming smile — and pairing him with both Hanks’s would-be father figure and an Oscar-nominated Christopher Walken as Frank’s actual dad to draw out emotional currents Frank himself can barely understand. Twenty years after its theatrical bow, Catch Me If You Can feels like a turning point for Spielberg, too: After Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report, he gave himself permission to have a little fun again.