Welcome to our cinematic journey exploring the '20 Best Movies Like Catch Me If You Can'! This iconic film, directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg and starring the charismatic duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, set a high bar for movies blending crime, drama, and a dash of light-hearted humor.
It masterfully captured the thrilling escapades of the infamous con artist, Frank Abagnale Jr., while weaving a narrative that was as emotionally engaging as it was entertaining. Our list delves into a carefully curated selection of films that resonate with this unique blend.
From high-stakes heists to clever cons, and from heartwarming narratives to pulse-pounding adventures, each movie on our list promises to deliver a slice of that enthralling 'Catch Me If You Can' magic.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
This biographical black comedy directed by Martin Scorsese features Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who rises to wealth and infamy through a web of fraud and corruption. The film chronicles Belfort's wild lifestyle, his firm's manipulative trading practices, and his eventual downfall. Similar to "Catch Me If You Can," "The Wolf of Wall Street" portrays a charismatic protagonist engaged in deceitful practices, showcasing the seductive allure of wealth and the consequences of swindling. Both movies delve into the psyche of their lead characters, offering a blend of drama, humor, and a critical look at their respective eras of American capitalism.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this stylish heist film stars George Clooney as Danny Ocean, who assembles a team of thieves to pull off a sophisticated casino robbery in Las Vegas. The film is known for its clever plot, charismatic ensemble cast, and slick execution. Echoing "Catch Me If You Can," "Ocean's Eleven" combines crime with a light-hearted tone and complex scheming. Both films feature protagonists who are charming, intelligent, and skilled at deception, drawing the audience into their high-stakes worlds of intrigue and adventure.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire known for his lavish parties and unrequited love for Daisy Buchanan. The film is a visual spectacle, capturing the extravagance and decadence of the Roaring Twenties. Similar to "Catch Me If You Can," "The Great Gatsby" explores themes of identity, obsession, and the American Dream. Both films offer a nostalgic journey into their respective historical periods, with protagonists who create new identities to achieve their desires, wrapped in a narrative that skillfully blends drama and romanticism.
This gripping historical drama directed by Ben Affleck chronicles the true story of a covert operation to rescue six Americans during the Iran hostage crisis. The film follows CIA agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) as he devises an audacious plan: creating a fake sci-fi movie production as a cover to extract the Americans from Tehran. Like "Catch Me If You Can," "Argo" is a masterful blend of tension and moments of unexpected humor, set against a backdrop of real historical events. The film shares the themes of ingenious deception and the high stakes of living a double life, all while delivering a thrilling narrative.
American Hustle (2013)
Directed by David O. Russell, this film delves into the world of con artists and the FBI in the late 1970s. It stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams as skilled con artists who are forced to work with an ambitious FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to entrap politicians and mobsters. "American Hustle," much like "Catch Me If You Can," showcases a complex narrative filled with duplicity, charm, and the blurred lines between right and wrong. The film's clever scripting, stunning performances, and the dynamic between its characters echo the smart storytelling and charismatic con artistry of Frank Abagnale's tale.
The Italian Job (2003)
This action-packed heist film, starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and Edward Norton, revolves around a group of thieves seeking revenge after being double-crossed during a gold heist in Venice. The team plans an elaborate scheme in Los Angeles to reclaim their lost treasure. "The Italian Job" shares with "Catch Me If You Can" a flair for clever planning, high-stakes scenarios, and a charismatic ensemble cast. While it leans more towards action, the film's intricate plotting, sense of adventure, and occasional humor resonate with the themes and tones of Spielberg's portrayal of Abagnale's escapades.
Boris Lee Krutonog
The Terminal (2004)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this film tells the story of Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a man from a fictional Eastern European country who finds himself stranded at JFK Airport when his homeland erupts in a sudden civil war. With no country to return to and unable to enter the United States, Viktor makes the airport his home. The film beautifully blends drama, romance, and a touch of comedy, much like "Catch Me If You Can." Both movies share Spielberg's direction and Hanks' performance, along with themes of perseverance in unusual circumstances and the exploration of human resilience and adaptability in the face of bureaucratic challenges.
Barry Shabaka Henley
Now You See Me (2013)
This film is a fast-paced heist thriller about a group of illusionists known as "The Four Horsemen" who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco, it combines elements of mystery, action, and magic. Similar to "Catch Me If You Can," it involves clever deceptions, law enforcement pursuits, and the thrill of the chase, all while keeping the audience guessing with its twists and turns.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Directed by Wes Anderson, this film is a visually stunning and quirky tale that recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. Like "Catch Me If You Can," it offers a blend of humor, drama, and a nostalgic look back at a bygone era, all delivered with a unique visual style and storytelling approach.
F. Murray Abraham
2 degrees of seperation (similar to The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Inside Man (2006)
This Spike Lee-directed heist thriller stars Denzel Washington as Detective Keith Frazier, who faces off against a clever bank robber, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), orchestrating a perfect robbery. As the tension escalates, the lines between right and wrong blur, with a banking executive (Jodie Foster) playing a key role in the unfolding drama. "Inside Man" shares with "Catch Me If You Can" a fascination with clever deception and the complex interplay between pursuer and pursued. Both films are marked by their intelligent scripts, engaging characters, and a balance of tension and strategic maneuvering, wrapped up in a story that keeps the audience guessing until the very end.
Carlos Andrés Gómez
The Sting (1973)
This classic film, set in the 1930s, stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as two professional grifters who join forces to pull off a massive con against a crime boss. Renowned for its clever plot twists and charismatic performances, "The Sting" masterfully combines elements of comedy, drama, and suspense. Like "Catch Me If You Can," it delves into the art of the con, showcasing the thrill of outsmarting the opponent. Both movies are celebrated for their stylish execution, memorable characters, and a storyline that keeps viewers thoroughly entertained and emotionally invested.
Logan Lucky (2017)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this heist comedy is about the Logan siblings, played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, who plan an elaborate robbery during a NASCAR race. The film is a delightful mix of clever plotting, quirky characters, and unexpected twists. Its tone of light-hearted caper, combined with moments of heartfelt sincerity, echoes "Catch Me If You Can," particularly in its portrayal of underdog characters ingeniously overcoming odds. Both films share an affection for their clever protagonists and a flair for balancing crime-driven plots with human, relatable stories.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
This film, set in the scenic Italian coast, delves into the life of Tom Ripley, a character who becomes enmeshed in a web of lies and identity theft. As Ripley's deceptions grow, so does the suspense, paralleling "Catch Me If You Can" in its exploration of a man leading a double life. Both films delve into the psychological aspects of their lead characters, showcasing how charm and intelligence can be tools for manipulation and survival. The movie offers a darker, more introspective take on themes similar to those in Spielberg's film, with a focus on the consequences of a life built on falsehoods.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
In this film, the art of the con is presented as a form of storytelling, with the Brothers Bloom crafting elaborate narratives to swindle their marks. This whimsical journey is filled with eccentric characters and unexpected turns, echoing the adventurous and playful tone of "Catch Me If You Can." Both movies celebrate the art of the con, while also examining the longing for genuine connection and the desire to leave behind a life of deceit.
Catch That Kid (2004)
A unique blend of a heist film and a coming-of-age story, "Catch That Kid" focuses on Maddy, a determined young girl who employs her climbing skills and intelligence to plan a bank robbery. The film shares with "Catch Me If You Can" a youthful energy and a moral complexity, as both protagonists engage in illegal activities for reasons they believe are just. The movie is an engaging adventure that showcases how ingenuity and determination can be used to overcome challenging obstacles.
John Carroll Lynch
James Le Gros
Michael Des Barres
More Hidden Gems Like 'Catch Me If You Can'
In the "Underrated Gems" section, we shine a spotlight on lesser-known movies that encapsulate the charm and intrigue of "Catch Me If You Can."
These hidden treasures blend clever cons, emotional depth, and a dash of humor, offering a unique cinematic experience. Discover these overlooked masterpieces that deserve a place in the limelight.
Paper Moon (1973)
"Paper Moon" stands out for its heartwarming portrayal of the relationship between Moses and Addie, as they travel through Depression-era America. Their scams are clever yet simple, reflecting a survivalist instinct akin to Frank Abagnale's in "Catch Me If You Can." Both films excel in their period settings and in showcasing the human side of con artists, blending humor with a poignant look at life's struggles and the bonds formed amidst them. "Paper Moon" is celebrated for its authentic portrayal of the era and its exploration of themes of trust, family, and the gray areas of morality.
Jessie Lee Fulton
James N. Harrell
Matchstick Men (2003)
This film centers on Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage), a seasoned con artist battling obsessive-compulsive disorder. His meticulously structured life is upended when he discovers he has a teenage daughter, Angela (Alison Lohman). As she expresses curiosity about his dubious career, Roy finds himself forming an unexpected bond with her. The plot thickens when Roy and his protégé Frank (Sam Rockwell) plan a risky scheme, blending the lines between Roy's personal and professional lives. "Matchstick Men," like "Catch Me If You Can," adeptly combines elements of drama, crime, and humor. It also mirrors the latter in its exploration of complex father-child relationships and the moral dilemmas faced by its charmingly flawed protagonist.
The Hoax (2006)
Richard Gere stars as Clifford Irving, a writer who concocts a daring scheme by fabricating a biography of the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. As Irving delves deeper into his deception, the hoax escalates, entangling the publishing world and even the Nixon administration, leading to unforeseen repercussions. Similar to "Catch Me If You Can," "The Hoax" showcases a protagonist embroiled in an elaborate deception, with both films delving into the psychological impact and the thrill of living a lie. The movie brilliantly captures the era's ambiance, much like the nostalgic feel of Spielberg's film, and underscores the thin line between ambition and morality.
Marcia Gay Harden
David Aaron Baker
In this sleek crime thriller, Edward Burns plays Jake Vig, a grifter who finds himself in a web of danger and deceit. After unknowingly scamming a crime lord, Jake must devise an even greater con to save himself and his crew. The film is a tightrope walk of tension, wit, and sharp twists. Echoing "Catch Me If You Can," "Confidence" immerses viewers in the world of high-stakes scamming, filled with charismatic characters and clever ruses. Both films share a penchant for smart storytelling and the exploration of the con artist's psyche, wrapped in a package of engaging drama and moments of light-heartedness.
Brian Van Holt
A lesser-known gem, "Diggstown" combines sports drama with con artistry. Gabriel Caine (James Woods), after being released from prison, teams up with a retired boxer named Honey Roy Palmer (Louis Gossett Jr.) to pull off an elaborate scam in the small town of Diggstown. The duo challenges the town's boxing prowess in a unique bet, leveraging both their wits and athletic skills. "Diggstown," like "Catch Me If You Can," features clever schemes, charismatic leads, and a narrative that balances humor with suspense. The film's underdog story and portrayal of small-town dynamics offer a refreshing take on the con genre, resonating with audiences who enjoy the blend of clever plotting and personal redemption found in Spielberg's film.
Louis Gossett Jr.
Randall 'Tex' Cobb
Thomas Wilson Brown