Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 33
  2. Negative: 14 out of 33
  1. 38
    The kind of movie Mad magazine prays for. It is so earnest, so overwrought and so wildly implausible that it begs to be parodied.
  2. 38
    The movie goes awry from the opening shots.
  3. 30
    Plays less like an exposé than a piece of exploitation, its clear divide between good and evil allowing no breathing room for real drama.
  4. 30
    Falls below even minimal standards of dramatic decency. John Q is a trashy, opportunistic piece of pop demagoguery. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
  5. 25
    Washington can't save a picture that spends so much time worrying about a heart that it loses its head.
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    Washington is in default dignified mode here. He capably embodies the hero's transformation from doughy dad to man of action, amid the movie's shameless button-pushing and cheap religious overlay.
  7. 20
    So lacking in shame that it finally seems laughable.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A shamelessly manipulative commercial on behalf of national health insurance.
  9. This movie, written in crayon by James Kearns, is too dumb to come up with a way of defeating the system by using its own rules.
  10. 20
    When emotion is called for, Cassavetes drags out every tear-jerking moment beyond the point of tolerability.
  11. 10
    Leaves you feeling as if you've been alternately milked and bitch-slapped. Its manipulation is so clumsy and obvious -- and, ultimately, it goes so far astray from its original guiding principles -- that it leaves you feeling dangled and dazed.
  12. Is it possible none of these actors read the script before they signed on? Were New Line executives perhaps too hung up on hobbits to notice how whacked out this movie is?
  13. 10
    John Q. is as fake as that tear, an exploitative mess trying to pass as social activism.
  14. Every so often a movie transcends stupidity and soars into the empyrean of true idiocy. John Q. is such a movie.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 54
  2. Negative: 8 out of 54
  1. Feb 24, 2013
    The underrated Denzel Washington, gives an Oscar worthy performance as John Q, a man willing to do anything to save the life of his son. This movie shows two things. How heartless the rich and powerful can truly be and how one man can make a difference. This is a powerful movie that shows how strong the relationship between father and son can be and just how important it is for every person in the country to have health care. Full Review »
  2. Jan 11, 2014
    The movie's message is heartfelt (no pun intended), and Denzel Washington gives a marginal performance, but there's something missing from John Q: Memorability. Full Review »
  3. Aug 26, 2013
    The directing has gone into overdrive with its message and use of music and scenery. And not in a good way, although the acting is good. The writing just feels tacked on and unoriginal. Full Review »