John Q
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A coercive script by James Kearns, and some middling direction by Nick Cassavetes, can't rob the movie of an undeniable, headlong crowd-pleasing power as it tackles an issue that touches us all."
‑ John Patterson, L.A. Weekly
"A sappy, melodramatic Denzel Washington vehicle that ensnares you in the standard hostage-movie scenario and doesn't let go until the director runs the whole playbook."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"Thought-provoking. Too intense for young teens."
‑ Afsheen Nomai, Common Sense Media
"The movie comes dangerously close to saying that the solution to a personal grievance is, well, terrorism, when you get right down to it."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"Washington, Woods, and Duvall are so capable, they almost save this schlock-fest from itself."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
"A polemic in search of a plot."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"It pulls out more stops than that old silent serial The Perils of Pauline. Unfortunately, it's a talkie."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Strands good actors in mushy, movie-of-the-week material. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Social messages, simplistic action, and teary melodrama are manipulatively but unsuccessfully mixed in this picture, which tries to provide a "hard" look at an honest working-class man (Washington) who loses control while trying to save his child's life"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"An emotional, heart-wrenching story that not only takes viewers on a journey within their own souls, but also opens up their eyes to the way the health care system works."
‑ Heather Wadowski, Film Threat
"Manipulative sentimentality, contrived plot and phony climax."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Cassavetes thinks he's making Dog Day Afternoon with a cause, but all he's done is to reduce everything he touches to a shrill, didactic cartoon."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"A hokey and often silly commentary about the medical industry, and corruption within the establishment."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Instead of presenting the story and allowing us to draw our own conclusions, Cassavetes blatantly tells us what we should think."
‑ Greg Maki, Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
"It may push more buttons than envelopes but John Q is a good old fashioned potboiler that generates ripped from the headlines heat."
‑ Rick Kisonak, Film Threat
More reviews for John Q on Rotten Tomatoes

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