Frank W. Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a cunning con man. Reared by scheister Frank Sr. (Christopher Walker) and doting mother (Nathalie Baye) — portrayed here by Steven Spielberg in manner not dissimilar to the autobiographical THE FABELMANS — Frank Jr. is also a deft forger who has passed as a doctor, lawyer and pilot, and his work attracts the attention of an FBI agent (Tom Hanks) who makes it his mission to put Frank behind bars. But Frank not only eludes capture, he revels in the pursuit. To reveal the reasoning for our inclusion amongst this year’s Holiday Classics (it opens the yearly December series whilst closing this one) would be to spoil.
“The colorful cinematography, smart performances and brisk tempo suggest a filmmaker subordinating every other impulse to the task of manufacturing pleasure.” —Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
“Spielberg knows that he has a great yarn here, and he's not about to let anything — not even his own virtuoso style, which can elsewhere be effectively glitzy — get in the way.” —Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel