John Q. Archibald (Denzel Washington) is struggling through a recession trying to provide for his son Mikey (Daniel E. Smith) and his waitress wife (Kimberly Elise). Mikey collapses at a Little League game and is rushed to a hospital. The situation is bleak. Only a heart transplant will save Mikey\'s life. John\'s HMO refuses to cover the expensive surgery. With the hospital and his insurance provider unwilling to help and his wife pleading with John to act, he takes matters into his own hands, holding the hospital\'s renowned heart surgeon (James Woods) and several others hostage in an emergency care wing until the surgery will be performed.

Despite solid performances the story goes to far to make an obvious point.

John Q begins in a poor neighbourhood in Chicago where the economic downturn is really starting to hurt. John Archibald, Washington, is only on 20 hours a week at the local plant and the loan company has just repossessed his car. But things start going really sour for him and his wife Denise, Kimberly Elise, when their son Mike, Daniel E. Smith, collapses and they learn for the first time that he won?t live without a heart transplant. Not insured for such an expensive operation and turned down wherever he goes for help, in desperation John kidnaps the cardiac surgeon, James Woods, and takes hostages in the emergency section of the private hospital where Mike is failing to get the treatment he needs.

Despite its noble intention to expose the appalling system of medical care and insurance in the United States, director Nick Cassavetes, whose daughter Sasha incidentally was on a donated organ recipient list, and screenwriter James Kearns have created a totally unbelievable scenario with John Q. Was it necessary to go so far into fantasy la-la land to try to convince audiences that the health situation is in crisis. You could almost see this film as a disservice. However, what is not wrong with the film are the performances, Washington is actually really good, and so is Kimberly Elise and Daniel E Smith. Even Robert Duvall as a cop and James Woods are valiant in really poorly developed roles.

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1 hour 56 min