Catch That Kid

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Catch That Kid!
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBart Freundlich
Written by
Produced by
  • Andrew Lazar
  • Uwe Schott
CinematographyJulio Macat
Edited byStuart Levy
Music byGeorge S. Clinton
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • February 6, 2004 (2004-02-06)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
Budget$12 million[3]
Box office$16.9 million[3]

Catch That Kid is a 2004 family action comedy film directed by Bart Freundlich and starring Kristen Stewart, Corbin Bleu, Max Thieriot, Jennifer Beals, and Sam Robards. It is a remake of the Danish film Klatretøsen (2002). The film's working titles were Mission Without Permission (also the film's UK title as well as part of one of the taglines), Catch That Girl, and Catch That Kid!


Madeline Rose "Maddy" Phillips (Kristen Stewart) is a 12-year-old girl who loves to climb, often ascending the nearby water tower. Her father, Tom, shares her passion, but fell more than 100 feet during a climb years earlier; Tom and his wife Molly (Jennifer Beals) are afraid Maddy may suffer a similar accident and have forbidden her from climbing. Latent injuries from Tom's fall have recently paralyzed him from the neck down. The family hears of an experimental operation which can save him, but insurance will not pay for the operation, and the family does not have $250,000 USD for the treatment. Harderbach Financial's president Donald Brisbane (Michael Des Barres) refuses to loan the amount, despite Molly being employed by the bank to design a security system. Maddy comes up with a plan to rob the bank for the money with her knowledge of her mother's system.

Maddy steals three go-carts from her father's race course and recruits her two friends Gus (Max Thieriot) a young mechanic, and Austin (Corbin Bleu) a computer geek and aspiring filmmaker, to help her. To convince them, she separately tells each one she loves him and gives him one half of her friendship necklace. They break into Harderbach Financial on the night of a party Brisbane is throwing, bringing along Max, Maddy's infant brother, who she is supposed to be babysitting. Maddy distracts the security guards, one of whom is Chad, Gus' older brother. Maddy and Gus progress to a room with thousands of security deposit boxes while Austin watches Max and manipulates the cameras and alarms to keep the guards away from them. Maddy is forced to free climb to get to the main vault containing hundreds of thousands of dollars when her hook gets caught in a crack when using the handhelds. She cracks the code ("Madeline") and they flee the room, unintentionally setting off the alarm after forgetting to type the exit code. The trio escapes guard dogs and re-escapes Chad. Gus and Austin find out that Maddy played them after seeing each other's necklaces and leave her, but the trio reunites during a police chase and evades them successfully.

Molly arrives at the bank, and Brisbane accuses her system of being useless and fires a Phillips family friend and bank employee, Hartmann (John Carroll Lynch). Brisbane's guest, Francois Nuffaut, apologizes to Molly and redirects the blame onto Brisbane, for throwing a party at the bank before the security system was operable. Maddy and her friends go to the hospital with the money to pay the surgery, but Molly realizes who the thieves are (through the amount they stole being equal to that of surgery costs and the climbing gear Maddy left in the vault) and intercepts them. Molly realizes her daughter was only doing what she thought was right for her father and covers by telling the bank executives that the robbery was an unplanned test she performed as chief of security. As they leave, reporters outside the hospital give the public the full story.

Molly forgives Maddy for her actions, the public sympathizes with the Phillips and fundraises the full amount for Tom's surgery, Hartmann is promoted to president of the bank after Brisbane's mistakes, Brisbane is fired from the bank, and Maddy, Gus, and Austin continue to argue about who will be a better boyfriend for Maddy.



Box office[edit]

Catch That Kid opened at #6 in the weekend of February 6, 2004 raking in $5.8 million in its first opening weekend. The film spent two weeks at the U.S. box office top ten. The film made $16.7 million in the United States and $226,963 in other countries for a worldwide total of $16.9 million, against a budget of $12 million.

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 13% based on 86 reviews and an average score of 3.82/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "An unimaginative heist movie aimed strictly at the preteen set."[4] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 33 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[5]

Critics overall expressed dislike towards the film's questionable morals and lack of originality, comparing it unfavorably to the Spy Kids trilogy. Despite these negative reviews, Roger Ebert of Ebert & Roeper and the Chicago Sun Times gave Catch That Kid "thumbs up", stating that it is as much fun as Spy Kids, Kim Possible and more fun than Agent Cody Banks.


A novelization of the story was released in conjunction with the film. The novel was written by American fantasy and science fiction author Suzanne Weyn.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Catch That Kid (2004)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  2. ^ a b c "Catch that Kid". Variety. February 5, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Box Catch That Kid (2004) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2009-11-01.
  4. ^ Catch That Kid at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ "Catch That Kid". Metacritic/CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-08-29.

External links[edit]