John Q

GIVE A FATHER NO OPTIONS AND YOU LEAVE HIM NO CHOICE.

johnqWhen his critically ill son is denied a heart transplant, working-class dad John Archibald (Denzel Washington) holds an emergency room hostage. Here’s a drama that tries to jump-start the debate on universal health care coverage in the U.S., but everyone involved feels so passionately about it that they turn the film into one long sermon. It’s a pretty simple story that’s not as effective as intended. Washington, however, is dynamite as the desperate dad and carries the film; Robert Duvall and James Woods are unable to step out from his shadow.

2002-U.S. 118 min. Color. Directed by Nick Cassavetes. Cast: Denzel Washington (John Archibald), James Woods (Raymond Turner), Robert Duvall (Frank Grimes), Anne Heche, Ray Liotta, Kimberly Elise.

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