Cast: Denzel Washington, Daniel E. Smith,
Kimberly Elise, Ray Liotta, Paul Johansson, Anne Heche.
Director: Nick Cassevetes
Double Oscar-winner Denzel Washington stars in this dramatic thriller about a father driven to extreme measures to save his son.
Washington plays the blue collar John Quincy Archibald, loving father to nine-year-old Mike (Daniel E. Smith) and husband to Denise (Kimberly Elise).
One day Mike collapses during a baseball game and tests reveal he is in desperate need of a heart transplant or else he'll die very soon. But the Archibald's insurance won't cover the operation. A top surgeon played by James Woods sympathises with their plight, but his hands are tied by hospital policy.
After exploring every possible option, John resorts to desperate measures - he storms into the hospital emergency room with a gun and takes everyone hostage, demanding a heart transplant for his son.
The situation escalates into a media fiasco involving a grandstanding police chief (Ray Liotta); an exploitative TV reporter (Paul Johansson from TV2's One Tree Hill) and an evil hospital administrator (Anne Heche). Robert Duvall plays the hostage negotiator trying to calm matters.
John Q is straightforward, watchable melodrama with Denzel
executing his trademark self-righteous thing with admirable
restraint, considering the premise.
Trivia: John Q was originally going to be the title of Citizen Kane.