Catch That Kid



Painfully bad. A real head-scratcher.
  • Review Date: June 1, 2004
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, and irresponsible behavior are condoned. Some crude humor.

Positive role models

No role models.


Characters in peril, a car chase scene that may be too intense for younger children.


Kisses on cheeks.


Some schoolyard words, including "retard."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some crude humor and schoolyard language. Characters are in peril, including a car chase scene that might be too intense for younger children. Some children may also be upset when Maddy's father is paralyzed. The real parental concern, however, is the movie's apparent endorsement of lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, and irresponsible behavior.

What's the story?

Kristen Stewart (Panic Room) plays Maddy, a young girl who inherited her father's love for climbing. He becomes paralyzed from an injury he received climbing Mount Everest, and his only hope is an operation that costs $250,000. The family's insurance won't cover it and they cannot get a loan. So Maddy decides to steal the money from the bank. Maddy, whose mother (Flashdance's Jennifer Beals) designed the bank's security system, gets a tour, taking pictures and getting the security code. Maddy's two best friends, Gus (Max Thieriot) and Austin (Corbin Bleu), agree to help her with the heist.

Is it any good?


CATCH THAT KID is a movie about a child bank robber who heartlessly manipulates her two best friends and risks the lives of her friends, her baby brother, and everyone else in her path. And she's the heroine! What were they thinking? The kids do their best, the robbery has one or two clever twists, and there are a couple of funny moments, but the script is so fundamentally misconceived that it is, well, a crime.

The head-scratching moments just keep coming. Why put Taxi Driver references in a movie for children? Is it supposed to be funny or admirable that a child lies about physical abuse in order to persuade a sympathetic adult to give him the information he needs to knock over a bank? Should children find it acceptable to steal from a bank because the boss is really mean? And what is James LeGros doing as an inept security guard who gets knocked out by his own cattle prod-like Taser? The real robbery in this movie is 90 minutes from the lives of the people who watch it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what made Maddy decide that it was all right for her to steal from the bank. How did she consider the risks and the benefits? A famous study several years ago found that when presented with a question like the one Maddy faced -- should you steal in order to get medical treatment for a family member -- boys were more likely to say yes and girls were more likely to say no. Why do you think that might be? Families could also talk about the lies Maddy tells and the lie her mother tells.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 6, 2004
DVD release date:June 1, 2004
Cast:Corbin Bleu, Jennifer Beals, Kristen Stewart
Director:Bart Freundlich
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some language, thematic elements and rude humor

This review of Catch That Kid was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bylovelylady103 June 11, 2012

What I Thought

the movie was actually really good. the actors were amazing and it was easy to understand what was happening. even though the kids steal from the bank they are good kids and trying to do what they think is the right thing. as for maddy who "heartlessly manipulates her two best friends and risks the lives of her friends, her baby brother, and everyone else in her path" she only manipulated her friends cause they were being immature and the only thing she risked was her mothers job. the movie was wayy better than the review made it sound. i would definatley recommend it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byShinjo April 9, 2008

Not a good movie!

Bad good laughs or anything. Also, it teaches kids that you can lie and cheat and get away with it and that robbing banks is ok, which just isn't a good message. I wouldn't suggest seeing this movie at all.
Teen, 14 years old Written byConwolf March 16, 2012

What are you talking about?

I don't get why you guys don't like it. The story is about a girl trying to help her dad. It kinda reminded me of Robin Hood--Steal from the Rich to Give to the Poor (Or injured father)--


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