Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Amy Adams, Martin Sheen
Release Date: Dec. 25, 2002
Running Time: 141 min
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Crime, Drama
Commentary Catch Me If You Can is the fascinating true story of con-man Frank Abagnale Jr. and how he made millions at a very young age before being caught. Along the way, he disguises himself as an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. DiCaprio does a terrific acting job, playing the role of Frank in this fast-paced, exciting and humorous film.
On the run: Frank Abagnale Sr. got in trouble with the IRS in 1963 for income tax evasion. As a result, his wife divorces him and Frank Jr. (DiCaprio) runs away from home as a teenager. In order to make a living, he turns to a life of crime involving ingenious deception. First he disguises himself as an airline pilot, forging PanAm payroll checks and making four million dollars. Later he disguises himself as a doctor and a lawyer, using tricks he'd learned from watching TV to aid him in his deception. He falls in love with a girl named Brenda (Adams) and eventually tells her the truth.
Capture: Carl Henratty (Hanks), an FBI bank fraud agent, suspets Frank of fraud and goes after him. Frank fools Carl on several occasions. Eventually Carl catches him and arrests him in France, whence he goes to prison. Once out of prison, Frank escapes from the plane upon which he's being escorted back to the states. Eventually he gets caught and arrested again, but then the FBI let him work for them in the bank fraud department.
Identification with the Anti-hero Catch Me If You Can is one of the better movies I've seen about an anti-hero, i.e. a protagonist bad guy you can identify with. I was fascinated by his ingenuity and found myself routing for him throughout the film. Being a big fan of criminal justice, there are very few movies which have done this for me.