RANKED: Steven Spielberg (#12 — Catch Me If You Can)

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

Chris Luckett

12. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002)

Release Date: December 25, 2002

Chronology: Arrived after a return to sci-fi with A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report and rekindled a partnership between Spielberg and Tom Hanks that continued with The Terminal

Box Office: $165 million ($217 million, adjusted for inflation)

Oscars: 2 nominations, 0 wins

Premise: Catch Me If You Can is the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio), a young expert on cons who posed as a teacher, a pilot, a lawyer, and a doctor — all while being chased by tenacious FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Hanks)

Over two hours?: Yes, indeed

John Williams Score?: Yes

Father Issues?: Yeah, Frank Jr. has plenty of issues with Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken), which he also carries over into his relationship with Carl

War?: No war

Aliens?: None

Special Appearances: Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams, James Brolin, Jennifer Garner, Elizabeth Banks, and Ellen Pompeo

Fun Fact: The officer who arrests DiCaprio’s character is played by the real Frank Abagnale, Jr.

Best Line: “For the last six months, he’s gone to Harvard and Berkeley. I’m betting he can get a passport.”

Best Scene: 

Verdict: Immensely entertaining. Much like Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean Eleven, the premise to the movie is very basic, but the flair added by a talented director (and the performances from a game cast) makes all the difference between a good movie and a great one. DiCaprio is funny and tragic as Frank and Hanks is enjoyable as the frustrated Carl. It could use a little tightening in its middle act, but Catch Me If You Can is fun enough that you don’t mind much.

Rating: 4½ stars / 5

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