Box art for John Q

John Q


Denzel Washington stars as John Q, a man whose young son needs an emergency heart transplant. When he discovers his insurance won't cover it, he will do anything to keep his son alive.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

Thought-provoking. Too intense for young teens.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is an intense film that deals with themes of death and failures of the medical system. These might be a lot for some kids to handle, particularly since a young boy's life hangs in the balance for most of the film. Violence and foul language are sporadic, limited to short scenes or moments. Fighting, stabbing, gunshots, attempted murder, and attempted suicide are featured in the film.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about John's actions. Are they justifiable? This film presents a perfect opportunity to talk about the status of the health care system in the United States. Is the current system fair? Should medical care be tied to ones ability to pay for it? Why or why not?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 24
    see all John Q reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: 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, Monday, March 4, 2002

Fresh: One can excuse the movie's missteps and melodramatic moments in the greater interest of the strong statement it makes about our health care system.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Friday, February 15, 2002

Rotten: Represents a creative dead end for the organ-transplant movie.

- Ed Park, Village Voice, Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Will you do anything, I mean really anything to help your children?

- aliyanto, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

3 stars

A simple idea but very well done, if you like this you should love the Negotiator!

- Deano78, Friday, June 8, 2007

4 stars

Excellent emotive, gripping drama story of an African-American father tryin to save his son for the heart transplant where he takes the hspital emergency staff hostage and refuses to release anyone until his son's operation is assured.

- deano, Monday, August 13, 2007