Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
John Quincy Archibald's son Michael collapses while playing baseball as a result of heart failure. John rushes Michael to a hospital emergency room where he is informed that Michael's only hope is a transplant. Unfortunately, John's insurance won't cover his son's transplant. Out of options, John Q. takes the emergency room staff and patients hostage until hospital doctors agree to do the transplant. Written by
Denzel Washington continues to prove why he is one of the best actors in the business with his performance in JOHN Q, a moving, emotional, and tension-charged drama about a family man whose son needs a heart transplant; however, due to financial problems, his insurance won't cover the cost of getting his son on the donor list so John Q decides to take hostages in the hospital until someone arranges for his son to be on the donor list. Despite a preachy and simplistic screenplay, the intense direction and first-rate performances make this film work. I particularly loved Denzel's work here because this was a character unlike he had ever played before...Denzel usually played well-educated, intelligent lawyers and/or businessmen (with the obvious exception of TRAINING DAY), but here Denzel is playing an average Joe...a working stiff, struggling to pay bills and keep food on the table and a roof over his family's head who is driven to extreme measures to protect the family he cherishes so dearly. Washington gets strong support from Robert Duvall, solid as always as the hostage negotiator, James Woods as a wimpy surgeon, Anne Heche as an unsympathetic hospital administrator, and especially Kimberly Elise as John's wife. An emotional drama, wrought with tension, that will rivet you to the screen.
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