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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 93,551 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 391 user | 129 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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
Daniel E. Smith ...
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?


The scene where George W. Bush is speaking about health care while John and Denise are watching TV was also shot with footage of Al Gore because the election winner had not yet been declared at the time of shooting. See more »


When Dr. Turner passes through the doors into the glass corridor where John takes him hostage, you can see the feet of crew members behind the door below the white backdrop. See more »


Lester: John... you're my hero.
See more »


Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »


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

A quite moving tale
16 January 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

John Q (Denzel Washington) is just an average man, he works at a factory and his wife and his son Michael are his whole world. When his son is taken ill and needs an needs an urgent heart transplant, he soon learns that his insurance won't cover the bills and he has no real hope of raising the cash himself. In an act of desperation he holds the emergency room hostage, it's all he can do to get his son the care he needs.

I felt the film was fundamentally flawed, yet it was made and performed with such passion and realism, what at first seems like a far-fetched plot is soon forgotten about, and you have to just go with the flow of this emotionally charged drama.

The cast is very strong, and the direction holds the story together very nicely; but most of all it achieves what it sets out to do, and that is move the audience.


21 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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