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Catch Me If You Can

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Catch Me If You Can

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 140 Minutes
Release Date: December 2002
Genres: Action, Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Jennifer Garner, Frank John Hughes, Brian Howe

Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

Once again, truth is stranger than fiction, and this enthralling cat-and-mouse game was inspired by the exploits of audacious Frank W. Abagnale Jr., known as the Skywayman. From the time he ran away from his troubled home at age 16 to his capture at 21, Abagnale passed himself off as a co-pilot on Pan Am, an Emergency Room physician, a lawyer and a millionaire. He was so skilled at 'paperhanging' (check fraud) - and had such chutzpah - that, for years, he was able to outwit and outmaneuver FBI Agent Carl Hanratty, who patiently pursued him around the world while developing a curious surrogate-father/son relationship with the daring identity thief. While Leonardo DiCaprio is engaging as the self-assured, elusive master of deception, it's Tom Hanks' dogged determination as the stodgy agent that resonates, along with Christopher Walken's poignant portrayal of Abagnale's father, a glib, small-town jeweler in trouble with the IRS while desperately clinging to his adulterous French war-bride (Nathalie Baye). Perceptively directed by Steven Spielberg from Jeff Nathanson's expertly-plotted screenplay, based on Abagnale's memoir, it's a cockeyed version of the American dream: a ingenious, jet-setting grifter who scammed bad checks in 50 states and 26 countries, bilking banks of $2.5 million, yet who's still haunted by the sins of his parents which fractured his family. After serving five years, Abagnale was released from prison on the condition that he teach law enforcement to prevent fraud. Now he has his own security firm and lectures at the FBI Academy. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Catch Me If You Can" is an amazing, astonishing 10. For sheer escapist entertainment, this rebellious rogue's skewed survival game is a winner. It's one of my 10 BEST MOVIES of 2002.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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