John Q.

John Q.

Director: Nick Cassavetes Cast: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, James Woods


A national health care crisis in the United States yields this tense drama from screenwriter James Kearns and director Nick Cassavetes, who experienced a real-life dilemma with his daughter's congenital heart disease that mirrors the one in this film. Denzel Washington stars as John Q. Archibald, a factory worker facing financial hardship as a result of reduced hours in his workplace. When his young son, Michael (Daniel E. Smith), is stricken during a baseball game, John and his wife, Denise (Kimberly Elise), discover that their child is in need of an emergency heart transplant. Although the Archibalds have health insurance, they are informed by hospital administrator Rebecca Payne (Anne Heche) that their policy doesn't cover such an expensive procedure. Unable to raise the money himself, John persuades the hospital's compassionate cardiac surgeon, Dr. Raymond Turner (James Woods), to waive his lofty fee, but is still left with too much of a financial burden to bear. With no recourse but to take his son home to die, John snaps and holds the staff and patients of the hospital's emergency room hostage at gunpoint. John is soon a media hero, the focus of intense news coverage, even as police chief Gus Monroe (Ray Liotta) and hostage negotiator Frank Grimes (Robert Duvall) try to resolve the situation before it leads to bloodshed.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/16/2002
UPC: 0794043546730
Original Release: 2002
Rating: PG-13
Source: New Line Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Denzel Washington John Q. Archibald
Robert Duvall Frank Grimes
James Woods Dr. Raymond Turner
Kimberly Elise Denise Archibald
Daniel E. Smith Mike Archibald
Anne Heche Rebecca Payne
Ray Liotta Gus Monroe
Eddie Griffin Lester
Shawn Hatosy Mitch
Paul Johansson Tuck Lampley
David Thornton Jimmy Palumbo
Kevin Connolly Steve Maguire
Ethan Suplee Max
Heather Wahlquist Julie
Troy Beyer Miriam
Obba Babatunde Sgt. Moody
Troy Winbush Steve
Laura Elena Harring Gina Palumbo
Larissa Laskin Dr. Klein
Dina Waters Debby Utley
Martha Chaves Rosa
Keram Malicki Sanchez Actor
Scott Bloom Desk Guard
Shera Danese Shelby's Wife
Vanessa Branch Actor

Technical Credits
Nick Cassavetes Director
Dede Allen Editor
Matthew Barry Casting
Mark Burg Producer
Howard Burkons Executive Producer
Thomas Carnegie Art Director
Stefania Cella Production Designer
William M. Connor Asst. Director
David Lee Sound/Sound Designer
Dale de la Torre Executive Producer
Michael De Luca Executive Producer
Nancy Green-Keyes Casting
Mathew Hart Co-producer
Avram "Butch" Kaplan Executive Producer
James Kearns Co-producer,Screenwriter
Oren Koules Producer
Elis Lam Art Director
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Saperstein Executive Producer
Hillary Sherman Co-producer
Rogier Stoffers Cinematographer
Clive Thomasson Set Decoration/Design
Aaron Zigman Score Composer

Customer Reviews

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John Q. 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Denzel Washington and the cast are strong, but the story line is obviously a call to arms for the healthcare agenda of the political left. I was looking forward to a good story with a strong cast, but was disappointed by the heavyhanded bias of the content and its stereotypical pitting of white against black, rich against poor, bureaucracy against ''the common man'', and of course the bad, deceitful cops against the black hero and his family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'll keep it simple. Washington and Duvall at their best
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Q (Washington) is a husband and father with money problems. In the beginning of the movie, we see his hours were cut to part time from full time at his job. Now his family is just living week to week, paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately the unthinkable happens. Mike (his son) was playing baseball one day and collapsed. His condition becomes very serious and he needs a heart transplant. But the family has no health insurance and no way to cover the transplant. In a desperate moment, he takes the emergency room hostage determined to keep his son alive. I thought it was a pretty good movie, why wouldn’t it be? Denzel Washington is in it! I would recommend that everyone go see it.
carleenloveshoneyjr More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was a great movie. It made me feel disappointed; it made me think a lot. Like, if I got sick would I have a disadvantage like Mike? If I needed a donated organ, would there be one for me? How far would you go to save a loved one? I would go pretty far. Money should not always be a major issue. "Help now, pay later." $250,000 was a lot of money for the family to come up with, just because Mike did not have insurance. A family who doesn't have good health insurance most likely doesn't have that kind of cash either. I really enjoyed watching this because John stayed strong and he put his life at risk to save his son. The actors in this movie are Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Kimberly Elise, Daniel F. Smith, Eddie Griffin, and Shawn Hatosy. I think these actors played their roles very well. This movie was produced by Mark Burg and Oren Kooles; and was directed by Nick Cassavetes. This drama genre film was released in 2002. I recommend this movie for just about anyone to see. It may make you smile, but then again, it may make you cry. I did a little of both. But overall it was a great movie. It was basically tell how John Archibald was determined to save Mike with a good heart gone bad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Denzel was excellent and this is one of the movies he should have receieved an Oscar. Malcolm X was the best movie he has acted in and this comes in second. Denzel still is not getting the props he should. Maybe people will wake up and start seeing him as the superb actor he is and start paying him accordingly. He should be making 20 million and 10% of box office sales like Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey and Mel Gibson. He is a top notch actor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With a cast like Washington, Duvall and Woods - you would expect a script that would be better than something written for a daily soap opera!! The premise was good but the script made a better comedy. I love Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall and James Woods - but not in this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is called John Q because that is the name of the main character. In this movie is the famous Denzel Washington. He played the father of a little boy who needed a heart transplant but he couldn't get one because their insurance wouldn't cover it. He held the hospital hostage that his son was in, demanding to get the heart his son needs. As you can imagine, soon there was nowhere John Q could hide because the SWAT team was formed outside the hospital demanding that he come out. This movie really touched me because I learned so many things from this movie. I learned that a huge percentage of Americans don't have health coverage and it seems as though America won't provide it for us. I highly recommend everybody who has never seen this movie to watch it because it's a good movie that would touch your heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why don't we get it over with, and say 250 million people don't have health insurance. I love how simplistic Hollywood can make issues. Apparently the only answer is free medical for everyone (except taxpayers). Why don't they do a movie on the 300,000+ people in England waiting for medical service. Despite Denzel Washington's always wonderful performance, I seriously thought about leaving...and I saw this on a plane!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The ethics of what humans do to other humans are blurred when John Q. (Denzel Washington), wife (Kimberly Elise), are told their son cannot receive a heart transplant because of insurance problems. Such heart-pounding, eye- opening, hair-raising thrills can raise you out of your skin. You see crime and drama brought to a higher threat level. It came out in 2002. This PG-13 blockbuster hit ran for 118 minutes. Every few minutes we witness the unfolding of the twists of the plot as John Q., a blue-collar worker (a provide r to his family), hold hostages at gunpoint because he believes this is his only option to insure that his son receives a heart transplant. In my opinion I believe: "If you don't give a man a choice, then you leave him with no option." This film deals with the ethics of human rights, and tries to answer these questions: who gets access to healthcare? Who is deserving of life? I would recommend this movie to people who enjoy a heart-touching, courageous film that can be watched repeatedly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie really made my husband and I appreciate being parents to our one son. We cryed together and then snuck in our son's bedroom, age 1, to watch him sleep for about 20 minutes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Q is both a husband , a provider, and a father in this movie. One day while his son was playing baseball, he colla psed while running to first base. The little boy 's name is Mike. Because of this event, they discover that he need s a heart transplant . The family learned when they went to the hospital that he didn't have insurance. Without insurance, the doctors couldn't give him a transplant. While John Q was in the hospital he became desperate; he was holding everybody hostage . He was upset because of the whole situation regarding the fact that no one was going to be giving his son a heart transplant. Does Mike get the transplant? Does his father commit suicide to donate his own heart? What happens next? This was a nice nice movie but it made me cry at some point.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What if determination meant more than just, achieving a Goal? What if it meant saving a life? Denzel Washington plays as a father who is determined to find a heart for his son. A problem arises because his health insurance won’t agree to cover this procedure. As time goes by his son is dying and trying to hold on. The father then holds a hospital hostage, and lets nothing (and I mean nothing) get in his way. The nurses, doctors and even the police force could not convince him to just let his son die. I think that this decision was good, because just like any other parent he wasn’t going to let his son die. During this process you get to see how far a parent will go to save their Childs life. We’ve seen Denzel act in many movies, but in this one you will feel, you will feel the emotions that he is portraying, from the weakest to the strongest points. John Q can be classified as an Action, Adventure and Drama film. It is one of the most touching films you ever will see. Starring: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, James woods, Anne Heche, Kimberly Elise, ray liotta. Rated Pg-13.writer James Kearns. Directed By, Nick Cassavetes, produced by, Mark Burg, Oren Koules.1hr.58min.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Q was a exceptional movie starring some of the most talented actors in Hollywood. This includes the very handsome Denzel Washington playing the role of John Quincy Archibald , Kimberly Elise as Denise Archibald, and Daniel E. Smith as Mike Archibald. This heart-warming, tear-jerking movie was directed by Nick Cassavetes . Together they tell the story of a man who believed that he had no options in life , and he attempts the unthinkable in order to save the life of his dying son. John Archibald's son needed a heart transplant in order to survive. The family had no insurance, so the hospital refused to complete the transplant. Like many parents, John would rather die, than see his son dead . Without consulting his wife, he took matter into his own hands. He held the hosptial under hostage, until the hosptial ageed to give his son a transplant without cost.This story is very amazing. It describes the love between family, truly describes how important health insurance is to have, and tells the reality behind hospital issues.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Denzel Washington is an extraordinary actor in the movie JohnQ. He plays the main role of John Q Archibald, along with a strong cast including Robert Duvall, Anne Heche, James Woods, and Eddie Griffin. John Q is a family man, with one son that is dear to his heart. He works in a factory and his wife is a waitress. His son, Michael, becomes fatally ill with a rare diagnosis for someone his age: he needs an organ transplant. On top of his son being ill, John Q doesn’t have the money to pay for the transplant. His health insurance will not cover the procedure, but he vows to his son that he would do everything in his power to save him. With time running short and his son health getting more and more ill, he resorts to taking over the hospital and taking all the workers as hostages. He also has to deal with the thought of losing his son and the going to jail and having the life of the other patients on his hands. As John Q quarrels with a police veteran, they both try to out wit each other, in the effort to put an end to the whole crisis. I think this movie is a very excellent way to show people the stress that families go through when dealing with a health matter that effects someone close to you. This is not only a movie; this is reality for the many families in similar situations. True, they may not over take a hospital, but some family members can be placed in a hospital themselves from the stress and the anger that they face when having a loved one hurt, and having no way to provide the care that they need.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is about a man who shows what a parent would do to save his or her child’s life is an honorable person. This is a wonderful movie that will put you on the edge of your seat, you will bite your nails and even tears may fall. The love of a parent for his or her child is big, big enough to hold a hospital hostage, in the place of John Q, until his son gets a heart replacement. Is this big scene good enough to make doctors put his son on the top of the list for a heart transplant? Will the father have to pay a price for the crime of holding everybody in a hospital? “John Q” is a movie that you and your family can enjoy. I think it’s the only movie I’ve seen that a parent shows what their child really means to them. Also this movie has real science and medical issues that occurs in our everyday life. The grim realities of our society are that there just aren’t enough donors for everyone that needs a transplant. People are always on lists for transplants and some of them don’t make it. Will John be able to get his son a heart and if he does will it reach him on time?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think John Q Was One Of Denzels Best Movies Of Course Next To Remember The Titans (to make a long story short) and MANY others I think anyone who hasnt seen it is crazy. it has heart pounding action and excitment like you dont know what will happen
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Q was a movie that seemed like it was very real . Many people sometimes go though the same problems in life with their healthcare issues. This movie was about a down-on-his luck father, whose insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant. He takes the hospital's emergency room hostage, believing that the doctors will agree to perform the operation. Here is a father who would do anything for his son even if it mean killing himself to get what his son need s. I respect the fact that this movie was to teach many people all over the U.S., that insurance is important and you would never know when something would go wrong. It brings up some issues that are still unresolved to this day. If I would give the movie a rating right now I would vote this movie 10 stars. So if many people think about watching this movie think about what can happen to your family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this movie relates to alot or all of the working class families in America. I don`t think it has to do with white against black, but with the poor against the rich. I myself come from a poor family and know how it is to just barely get by. Beyond all that, the movie shows what a loving father will do to help his son live.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must see for anyone with small children and borderline healthcare. This was an emotionally gripping movie with a powerful exchange between Robert Duvall and Ray Liotta debating on how to take down Washington.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nick Cassavetes was the director of John Q. Starring in this movie were actors Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Anne Heche, James Woods, Eddie Griffin, and Ray Liotta. It was released in 2000. When seeing this movie, I cryed because it shows how far a father will go to save his son. It also shows how HMOs and other insurance companies deny claims, and don't provide coverage to you when you don't have a lot of money. This movie portrays how the world seems to be only all about money. This movie is about an hour and a half long. We see the a little league baseball game in which the Archibald child is playing. The father, played by Denzel Washington, sees his little son fall down. It turns out that he is suffering with a heart condition. When they get to the hospital they find out that his son needs a heart transplant that costs $250,000 and his insurance won't cover it . The hospital refuses to help. The doctors announced that his heart is three times the size of a normal 9- year old child. John's wife tells him that he has to do something. After being told that unless he comes up with the money that Mike, his little son would have to leave the hospital. John takes it upon himself to do something. That 'something' is to take the emergency room hostage, at the hospital that his son is staying. He locks up all the doors so that no one will get in and no one will get out. He told the cops that if they don't put his son's name on the list that he will start to kill each person one by one. He makes people see how HMOs and other insurance companies turn the poor down that they don't think about how this makes others feel. Does Mike live to see another day with his father? This is the question that you will ask yourself when seeing this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Was this smarmy? Yes. Was this preachy? Yes. Was this an obvious affront to the health care system? Yes. Was this Denzel at his best and STILL a great movie? YES! In the midst of the smarmy, preachy and affront, the real message was the love of a father for a son... THAT was what made it a fantastic movie. Also, it's sad that Denzel can turn in a performance such as this to go along with his others (Malcomb X, Remember the Titans, etc.), yet get the Oscar for portraying a criminal cop. THAT is pitiful. (While some may decry the movie's message, they need to hope and pray that THEY are never in that position. And I thank God everyday that I have the means to pay my taxes and possibly be able to help others.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago