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CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

"An extraordinarily fluid and instinctive actor, Mr. DiCaprio has always conveyed the slippery acuity of a chameleon whiz kid who could talk his way in and out of any situation, and his performance is a glorious exhibition of artful, intuitive slipping, sliding and wriggling...'Catch Me' is the most charming of Mr. Spielberg's mature films, because is it so relaxed. Instead of trying to conjure fairy-tale magic, wring tears or insinuate a message, it is happy just to be its delicious, genially sophisticated self." -- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

" This is a meticulously directed, deliciously acted, humorously written work of skill, energy and imagination that showcases the range, charm, charisma and talent so sadly missing from Mr. DiCaprio's luckless miscasting in 'Gangs'...and Tom Hanks is nothing less than sensational as the F.B.I. agent who devotes his career to stalking the elusive impostor but remains constantly shamed and humiliated by his failure to catch him...Christopher Walken gives his best performance in years as the father who thrills vicariously to his son's felonies to make up for his own failures in life...This funny, riveting, entertaining, fizzy, feel-good movie is one of the best of the year. -- Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"Having shed the weight he carries in 'Gangs of New York,' DiCaprio easily persuades in the role of a boy pretending to be a man...Where he and the film run into trouble are the director and screenwriter's efforts to wring deeper meaning out of Abagnale's exploits... for all his genre-hopping and shape-shifting Spielberg seems to have become too big to tell small stories, which is one reason why the film sputters on one too many false endings, as if the finale needed to be important enough to justify the director's involvement." -- Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"Spielberg dashes ahead of all this season's movies...Spielberg locates the American myth of ceaseless ambition in the neurosis of a boy attempting to emulate, please and avenge his father....'Catch Me If You Can' is so charming and watchable that some viewers will concentrate on Abagnale's gimmicks and ignore his desperation, the key to the movie's gravity...This vision of the life Americans once idealized also measures the distance we've gotten away from it. Lazy film-watching and dishonest filmmaking won't do. Catch Spielberg, if you can." -- Armond White, New York Press

"...a delicious cat-and-mouse game flecked with intriguing Oedipal undertones. As the mercurial mouse, DiCaprio sparkles, far more comfortable in the ever-changing skin of this slick chameleon than he is in Scorsese's epic...Walken's performance is hilarious, poignant and full of surprises. 'Catch Me' is never less than engaging; all that's missing is a proper crescendo." -- David Ansen, Newsweek

"...breezily enjoyable but thin...Early on, in films like 'This Boy's Life' and 'Marvin's Room,' DiCaprio had a seething undercurrent that separated him from most fresh-faced juvenile actors. Spielberg doesn't call upon DiCaprio to tap into that undercurrent and go beyond the blithe escapades of a kid con man, and the movie suffers for it...What's missing in Frank is any trace of cruelty or dark guile. Spielberg explains him away as a misguided but well-meaning product of a suburban broken home...Spielberg can't be faulted for wanting to confect a simple entertainment after the heavy-going 'A.I.' and 'Minority Report.' The problem is, he's chosen a hero who is far from simple." -- Peter Rainer, New York

"...that rarity of rarities, a mainstream American feel-good movie with both charm and intelligence...everything potentially unpleasant and misogynous is done once over lightly to remove the sting for the audience. In these expressionistically dark times for movies, Mr. Spielberg and his collaborators have fashioned a light, virtually painless entertainment by not digging too deep into anyone's tortured psyche, despite showing us Mr. DiCaprio's occasionally tearful breakdowns, which are kept mercifully brief." -- Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer