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"CATCH ME IF YOU CAN"
(2002) (Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Heavy Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Mild Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Heavy Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: An FBI agent tries to catch a wily and resourceful con artist who's traveling around the country forging checks and various identities for himself.
PLOT:
It's the mid-1960s and 16-year-old Frank Abagnale Jr. (LEONARDO DICAPRIO) seems to have the perfect life. Smart, good-looking and with a loving father, Frank (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN), and mother, Paula (NATHALIE BAYE), he even has a new checking account his dad opened for him.

Yet, things aren't exactly what they seem. Frank Sr. has problems with the I.R.S. as well as obtaining a loan, no matter what outrageous scheme he tries to use, some of which involve his son. When they're forced to sell the house and car, the marriage begins to crumble and the parents then inform their son of the inevitable - they're getting divorced.

Unable to take that news, Frank Jr. hits the road and tries to make it on his own, but similarly finds that he can't cash any of his checks at competing banks. Having already shown a penchant for assuming new identities like a chameleon changes its colors, the boy concocts an elaborate scheme where he ends up posing like an airline co-pilot so that he can cash forged airline checks.

That con also enables him to move about the country, always one step ahead of FBI agent Carl Hanratty (TOM HANKS) and his associates who work in the bank fraud division and are after the forger. Occasionally writing home or briefly visiting his father and still hoping and trying to get his parents back together, Frank begins living the high life, seeing various women such as Cheryl Ann (JENNIFER GARNER) and then Brenda Strong (AMY ADAMS), a hospital worker that gives him the thought that being a doctor might be a good career change.

That eventually leads to him meeting Brenda's parents, including father Roger Strong (MARTIN SHEEN), whose lawyerly profession obviously inspires the young man into another line of work. With the years passing and the amount of his forged checks nearing $4 million, Frank tries to stay ahead of Carl and his team as they move ever closer to catching him.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or director Steven Spielberg, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual content and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LEONARDO DICAPRIO plays a young man who runs away from home upon learning that his parents are getting divorced. He then assumes various personas and professions while forging millions of dollars of checks. Charming and personable, he easily befriends people, and has sex with several women. He uses some brief profanity and is always on the run from Carl.
  • TOM HANKS plays the FBI agent who works in the bank fraud division and is intent on catching Frank. He briefly uses strong profanity while trying to tell a joke that's supposed to belie his otherwise serious and focused demeanor.
  • CHRISTOPHER WALKEN plays Frank's father and petty con man who has problems with the I.R.S. and is constantly trying to borrow money for his next scheme.
  • NATHALIE BAYE plays Frank's mother who smokes and eventually leaves her husband after cheating on him with a family friend.
  • AMY ADAMS plays a young hospital worker who Frank Jr. falls for. She informs him that she had an abortion in the past and that her family disowned her.
  • MARTIN SHEEN plays her lawyer father who eventually accepts her back into the family after she returns home with a seemingly successful and good-looking fiancÚ.
  • JENNIFER GARNER plays a woman who's presumably a high-class prostitute and sells her services to Frank Jr.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this drama/caper that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also spoken. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present, as is some sexual flirting and a sexual encounter that's heard just off camera (with the participants seen after they're done with some partial nudity). Other encounters are implied and a young woman admits to having had an abortion several years earlier.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while tense family material involves a divorce and parents having disowned the above young woman (although they do take her back). Some impressionable kids might be enticed to imitate some of the con artistry and forging of checks that occurs, while violence consists of some gun aiming (once to a person's head) and brief contact, while a bloody boy (from an accident) is seen in a hospital. Meanwhile, various characters drink or smoke.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people have wine at a ceremony.
  • Paula has wine.
  • A stewardess asks Frank if he'd like a drink but he asks for milk.
  • Frank and his father have champagne.
  • A woman has a drink.
  • Paula mentions that most boys Frank's age are on dope.
  • People drink at a party at Frank's place and several appear to be drunk.
  • Brenda's family has wine on the table.
  • Roger holds a drink.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar where one person is pulled aside and appears to be drunk.
  • Frank Sr. has a beer and then tells his son to have a drink with him.
  • People have champagne at a wedding reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • While serving as a doctor, Frank has to see an emergency room case where a boy has blood all over him and what looks like a small bloody hole in his leg. After getting others to handle that, he goes into a janitor's room and we hear him vomit.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Frank Sr. lies about a death in the family so that he can get a suit for his son from a store but then use that to dress like a driver so that Frank Sr. can try to impress someone.
  • Another student purposefully runs into Frank and knocks him into a locker.
  • Frank Jr. purposefully decides to con various people about who and what he really is, and ends up forging and cashing checks to the tune of nearly $4 million dollars.
  • Frank tells another student how to fold her forged parental note in half to make it look more realistic.
  • Frank discovers that his mother is having an affair with his dad's friend.
  • Frank Sr. lies to Carl and says that his son is in Vietnam.
  • For those who oppose abortions, Brenda states that she had one two years ago and that her parents have basically disowned her because of that.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Carl approaches Frank's room with his gun drawn and then holds it on him (although not played for true suspense).
  • While serving as a doctor, Frank has to see an emergency room case where a boy has blood all over him and what looks like a small bloody hole in his leg.
  • As Carl approaches with his gun drawn, Frank tries to get out of a bedroom.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Held by various law enforcement officials and aimed at times at Frank, Jr.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Knock, knock. Who's there? Go f*ck yourselves," "I think you're full of sh*t," "Suckers," "Screwed up," "Screwing up," "Pissed his pants," "What in the hell is wrong with you?" and "Jeez."
  • Frank Jr. pulls various cons on people including: Posing as a substitute teacher / Changing his date of birth and name on official documents / Asking if a necklace he presents belongs to whatever woman he's trying to charm / Acting sick to try to get sympathy / Posing as a student reporter to get inside information from an airline executive / He acts like he's a pilot whose uniform was lost by a hotel (so that he can get a "replacement" one / He forges, constructs and cashes his own airline checks complete with company logo / He poses as a Secret Service agent / He fakes his medical degree and takes a job as an emergency room director / And manages to pass the bar and become a lawyer.
  • Frank Sr. tries to pull various cons on people including having his son act like his driver in an effort to try to impress some bankers and using a supposedly found necklace to impress whatever woman whose help he needs.
  • Frank tells another student how to fold her forged parental note in half to make it look more realistic.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of playfully suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • An old Sinatra song has the lyrics, "If you can use some exotic booze, there's a bar in far Bombay."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 1 "s" word (with 2 more possible ones), 2 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy" as in the first name of a character from an old James Bond film), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t"), 3 damns, 3 hells, 6 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Christ," "Jesus" and "God Almighty" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear the rhythmic sounds of a woman repeatedly exclaiming "Yes!" and see a room service tray being rocked in a rhythmic fashion (with stuff falling off) as Frank has sex with a stewardess (which isn't seen). We then see him on top of her after they're done and see part of her bare breasts as he says that it was the best date on which he's ever been.
  • A banker worker comes on to Frank while showing him how checks work in a bank. She holds a check up in front of her clothed chest and then pulls it away just as he starts to point at it so that he ends up pointing at her chest.
  • One of Carl's new partners recounts his days of being an undercover vice agent and mentions that he thought he was going to "shoot my t*ts off" while reaching for his gun and dressed as a woman.
  • A sultry woman, Cheryl, comes on to Frank Jr. and asks how much he'd be willing to pay for a night with her. When he finally says $1,000, she says okay (and sex is implied).
  • We see various young women in bikinis at Frank's place.
  • Frank suddenly kisses Brenda after some flirting and she then passionately kisses him back and climbs on top of him on a chair where she straddles him.
  • We see Brenda under the covers with Frank Jr., but she's saying that she's sorry. He says he doesn't care that she's a virgin, but she says that she isn't and that she had an abortion two years ago. We see her in her bra, but nothing else happens.
  • SMOKING
  • Paula smokes around 5 times, while various miscellaneous people smoke in various scenes (1 with a cigar).
  • Frank Jr. keeps telling his mom he thought she was going to quit smoking.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The Abagnale family faces some tough times and sells their car and house.
  • Frank discovers that his mother is having an affair with his dad's friend.
  • Frank is informed that his parents are getting a divorce and that he has to choose which one he wants to live with.
  • Brenda states that she had an abortion two years ago and that her parents have basically disowned her because of that.
  • Frank Sr. finally tells Frank Jr. that Paula is now married to another man (after Frank Jr. keeps talking about his mom and dad getting back together).
  • A person learns that their father is dead.
  • Carl mentions that he doesn't see his daughter much as they live across the country.
  • A woman learns that her new husband isn't the person she believes him to be.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of this story.
  • Con men and how easy and/or complicated it is to con people.
  • Forging checks and identities.
  • Frank is informed that his parents are getting a divorce and that he has to choose which one he wants to live with.
  • Brenda states that she had an abortion two years ago and that her parents have basically disowned her because of that.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A French guard holds a handgun to Frank's head to make him stop trying to escape.
  • Another student purposefully runs into Frank and knocks him into a locker.
  • An FBI agent kicks open a door.



  • Reviewed December 16, 2002 / Posted December 25, 2002

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