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Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.



(screenplay), (book) (as Frank W. Abagnale) | 1 more credit »
595 ( 3)
Top Rated Movies #226 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


New Rochelle, the 1960s. High schooler Frank Abagnale Jr. idolizes his father, who's in trouble with the IRS. When his parents separate, Frank runs away to Manhattan with $25 in his checking account, vowing to regain dad's losses and get his parents back together. Just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France; he's extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $4,000,000 in bad checks. Along the way, he's posed as a Pan Am pilot, a pediatrician, and an attorney. And, from nearly the beginning of this life of crime, he's been pursued by a dour FBI agent, Carl Hanratty. What starts as cat and mouse becomes something akin to father and son. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The true story of a real fake. See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

25 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atrápame si puedes  »

Box Office


$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,082,000 (USA) (27 December 2002)


$164,435,221 (USA) (18 April 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The blackboard that Carl Hanratty is writing on toward the end of the movie contains a small note at the bottom that says, "Steven and Tom's 4th project". Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, had previously collaborated on Band of Brothers (2001) , Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Joe Versus the Volcano (1990). See more »


At the Miami airport, Checker cabs with impact absorbing bumpers are seen. Impact absorbing bumpers did not appear on cars until late 1972 (for the 1973 model year.) The cabs are at least 1974 models, when impact absorbing bumpers for both the front and back of the car were required. See more »


Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Stop chasing me!
Carl Hanratty: I can't stop, it's my job.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Bruce Paltrow See more »


Referenced in Hollywood and the Muslim World (2003) See more »


Put Your Head on My Shoulder
Written by Paul Anka
Performed by The Lettermen
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Slick and enjoyable story telling
25 December 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When his parents file for divorce and he has to chose between them for custody, Frank Abagnale Jnr runs away from home. He begins to con his way around - getting better and better at it with each ruse. Posing as a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor he earns his money from cashing forged cheques. As the numbers go up, FBI agent Carl Hanratty starts tracking him in a game of cat and mouse.

Based on a true story, although it doesn't rely on `and it really happened' to be a good film - although that this guy could even do half of this stuff is impressive, this film is a slick bit of entertainment even if it left me feeling a little bit like it was too much presentation. The plot starts at the end and jumps back to see the whys and the hows of the tale. It is told with a slick energy that keeps the story moving and never really lingers on any scene longer than it has to. It is for this reason that the two hours goes by relatively quickly.

The presentation is good. Williams' score is not as memorable as his usual work but it is what the film needs it to be - unobtrusive and slick. Just like the opening credits, this film is very much a chase movie with a nice sense of period. The only downside of this slickness is that it feels like eating a sweet - it is very nice while it lasts but it doesn't fill you up. I enjoyed the film but it did leave me wondering what else there was; even if I did still have a sugary taste in my mouth. But to be fair - this is a minor compliant as the film didn't set out to be some massive thought provoking film; it was a chase movie and it was a very stylish and enjoyable one at that.

The cast is good even if they aren't all used well. If anyone can tell me why Jennifer Garner even bothered to show up I'll be happy to listen. DiCaprio is very good. I'm not a massive fan of his but he was engaging here and looked about the right age to play the part - sort of between man and boy. Hanks does good work in support. Because his character is quite drab it is easy to forget him but I really enjoyed him and thought he brought more to the film than DiCaprio. Walken is good in support and Sheen adds another famous name to the end credits but it is very much a two hander with Hanks and DiCaprio more than able.

Overall this film is a slick, stylish chase movie which should be enjoyed as such and is slightly more enjoyable for being a true story. If anything it is a little too slick for it's own good, but that is a petty complaint to make against a film that kept me pleasingly entertained for the past two hours!

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