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John Q

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

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

John Q Archibald (Denzel Washington) a down-on-his luck father, whose insurance won't cover his 9-year-old son Mike's (Daniel E Smith) heart transplant, takes the hospital's emergency room hostage until the doctors agree to perform the operation.

Persons of interest

  • Denzel Washington .... John Q Archibald
  • Daniel E Smith .... Mike Archibald
  • Robert Duvall .... Grimes
  • Anne Heche .... Rebecca Payne
  • Ray Liotta .... Monroe
  • Ethan Suplee .... Max
  • Shawn Hatosy .... Mitch
  • Kimberly Elise .... Denise
  • Keram Malicki-Sánchez .... Freddy
  • Heather Wahlquist .... Julie
  • Eddie Griffin .... Lester
  • James Kearns .... Screenwriter
  • Nick Cassavetes .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Well, you know from the Propaganda that John Q is a "good man vs the system" flick. The twist comes from the lengths to which John Q is willing to go. The Hollywood ending is that no-one dies who deserves to live.

Denzel Washington takes his role through all the necessary highs and lows but doesn't manage to extend those highs and lows to the audience (that's you). The supporting cast are all much more interesting characters although they could never manage to reach the requisite Hollywood ending (their flaws are what makes them interesting; John's flaw is that he has no flaws).

John Q is an interesting film but doesn't quite have the balls to be the thriller it could be.

FYI: "John Q" is a name used in the USA to refer to the average citizen, as in "John Q Public". See also Joe Somebody.

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence, adult themes, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

116 minutes (1:56 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 9 May 2002
VHS rental: 27 November 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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