Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 100
    Part of Spielberg's skill as a filmmaker comes in choosing the right collaborators. Janusz Kaminski's gorgeous cinematography, Michael Kahn's graceful editing, Jeff Nathanson's clever script, and John Williams' score all work well in unison, but the film's masterstroke is the casting of Walken as DiCaprio's utterly decent father.
  2. 100
    It's brilliantly acted. But best of all, it's brilliantly made.
  3. 91
    It's the most charming and buoyant film Spielberg's ever made.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Never less than engaging; all that’s missing is a proper crescendo. The picture moves along briskly, even at two and a half hours, but it seems to be running on cruise control.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Results in about the nicest movie you could ask for at the holidays: a gently funny, sweetly adventurous film that makes you feel genuinely good, that is to say, entirely unconned by false sentiment or sharp, overmanipulative Hollywood practices.
  6. 89
    Everything about this swift and gorgeous and tremendously enjoyable film is played out in a rush of staccato edits, crisp performances, and charmingly giddy subplots that coalesce into Spielberg's most purely entertaining movie in years.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nothing if not a celebration of our willingness to be gulled by life's charming strangers.
  8. 80
    As an actor DiCaprio has long been known for his ardor, not to mention his tiresome self-seriousness, but working for Spielberg, he plays his scenes with a comic deftness I thought he didn't have in him.
  9. Breezy and easy to swallow. Its maker, Steven Spielberg, hasn't had so much fun in two decades.
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Feels more like The Bill Clinton Story than "Primary Colors" (1998). It's a paean to naughty boys who dream of potency and become enraptured by their own scams -- a great American archetype.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Like a trot around the track for the thoroughbreds involved, and one of the results is that it takes them far too long to get to the finish line.
  12. 80
    Spielberg must have sensed that he owed us some fun, and the movie has a sleek and carefree look -- the lightness of a sixties comedy, made with the extraordinary speed and panache of our most fluent director. This is a true holiday film, a gift from some genuine pros who know how to entertain without sweat. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
  13. Spielberg directs so fluently that it takes a while to perceive how well made the film is.
  14. Based on the real-life exploits of Frank W. Abagnale but played more for myth than believability.
  15. 75
    This is not a major Spielberg film, although it is an effortlessly watchable one.
  16. Brilliant performances by DiCaprio as Frank Jr. and Christopher Walken as his fallen father - and an enjoyable one by Tom Hanks.
  17. Spielberg's directing is a tad less tricky than usual, but he doesn't have much talent for psychological suspense, which is the heart of the story. DiCaprio underplays nicely and Walken is superb as the con artist's downtrodden dad.
  18. 75
    Even in its somewhat unwieldy form, Catch Me If You Can is charming, sparkling entertainment.
  19. A pleasant romp through the land of Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction.
  20. 75
    You won't find a movie that's more fun this season -- but at 2-1/2 hours, it's probably too much of a good thing.
  21. In the end (and it's a happy end, to be sure), Catch Me if You Can is as crisp and trim as a new suit. Well, a new old suit - say, circa the 1960s.
  22. What lingers in the memory is the impression of having experienced a frolic, a ride through the park on a bright winter day.
  23. 75
    An enjoyable, although not ambitious, holiday outing.
  24. The movie could have used a further dose of the resonance Walken gives it, and a more intellectually adventurous director might have brought the theme close to home.
  25. The film's charm ends up worn out by the very perfection of Frank's con. We look at this teen wizard of rotating identity, and we realize we know everything about him except who he is.
  26. DiCaprio could hardly be better. He brings this outrageous character and his demons to life with skill, sympathy and a symphony of small, telling touches.
  27. 70
    We aren't talking Oscar here. We're talking truly fine performances and an unexpectedly hep John Williams score. We are talking a story that rollicks with the most rollicking of them. Not great cinema; just a great time at the movies and certainly a film well worth catching if you can.
  28. 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.
  29. Finally seems like a bit of a con in its own right, but a marvelously smooth one.
  30. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Catch offers mild fun but never as much as its animated '60s-retro opening credits portend. They're the cutest of the year.
  31. 63
    Spielberg's inchoate attempts at cultural observation stretch the movie out and dilute the giddiness instead of adding a pleasurable spike. When the movie doesn't feel inflated, it feels soggy.
  32. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The whole lighter-than-air lark whizzes by like a brisk, kandy-kolored dream of the 1960s, flavored by a Saul Bass inspired credit sequence; a slinky, Henry Mancini-esque score; and a stunning array of period sets and evocative locales.
  33. 60
    Well-enough made and highly watchable, but it lacks the one thing that would put some swing in its step and some swagger in its attitude: a sense of jazz.
  34. 50
    What begins brightly gets bogged down over 140 minutes. A film that took off like a hare on speed ends like a winded tortoise.
  35. 50
    DiCaprio is far more successfully cast here than in Gangs of New York: His performance is all about acting; it's a mild kick to see how he'll manage to talk his way out of nearly every scrape.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 265 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 70
  2. Negative: 5 out of 70
  1. Sep 4, 2014
    Catch Me If You Can is a breezy, light Spielberg film full o charm and great performances, especially DiCaprio and Walken. Hanks plays theCatch Me If You Can is a breezy, light Spielberg film full o charm and great performances, especially DiCaprio and Walken. Hanks plays the slightly inept FBI agent, and the move closes with a surprisingly fulfilling ending. It is 140 minutes of entertainment, and maybe even some themes in there somewhere. Full Review »
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    Although not considered one of Steven Spielberg's grander successes, Catch Me If You Can is one of the most fascinating and stimulatingAlthough not considered one of Steven Spielberg's grander successes, Catch Me If You Can is one of the most fascinating and stimulating stories ever told. It also helps that the gang's all here... Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and a film debut for Amy Adams. Full Review »
  3. Jan 6, 2014
    Starting with tasteful credits, and ending in one of the most iconic film pursuits.Starting with tasteful credits, and ending in one of the most iconic film pursuits. Full Review »