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John Q (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  15 February 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 92,429 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 390 user | 129 critic | 33 from

John Quincy Archibald takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.



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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriela Oltean ...
Ron Annabelle ...
Tow Truck Driver
Jimmy Palumbo
Barry G. King ...
Employee Manager
Gina Palumbo (as Laura Elena Harring)
Dr. Ellen Klein
Registered Nurse
Admitting Nurse
James Finnerty ...
Nurse Reggie


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Give a father no options and you leave him no choice.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, language and intense thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 February 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Q.  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$23,612,171 (USA) (15 February 2002)


$2,606,250 (Japan) (10 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nick Cassavetes:  A reporter on the courthouse steps at the end. See more »


John Q.'s shirt after the stabbing, as he's letting the pregnant woman and Latino mom go - the stab hole changes between shots, along with the blood stain. See more »


Dr. Turner: [in a debate on healthcare] Shut up. Enough already. I've heard all the bitching and moaning I can stand for one day all right? Look, if you want to regard me as some kind of blood-sucking vampire, then fine, great, I'll be the bad guy.
[points at John]
Dr. Turner: but who's holding the fucking gun?
See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


Ave Maria
Written and arranged by Aaron Zigman
Performed by Ana Maria Martinez
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User Reviews

A Very Human and Affecting Drama...
21 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

55 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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