User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 102
  2. Negative: 12 out of 102
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  1. Mar 15, 2015
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While I liked the idea of the movie, and the message, I don't like this movie, first off Denzel Washington is the only tolerable actor I find, and the hospital takeover takes too long to get going and goes by too fast. Expand
  2. Jan 11, 2014
    5
    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.
  3. Aug 26, 2013
    3
    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.
  4. Mar 22, 2013
    4
    A crowd-pleasing film that is shamelessly exploitative and manipulative. Denzel does his best, but his performance alone cannot lift a script so recklessly sappy.
  5. Feb 24, 2013
    10
    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 everyThe 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. Expand
  6. Nov 27, 2011
    8
    I thought it was a good film. It does take a little to get into and its a little boring at first but in the end its well worth it. I really enjoyed it and I think many others would as well.
  7. Oct 5, 2011
    4
    "oh dad, im a cute little boy who loves my family and now im sick, please feel sorry for me and make the doctors fix me" - "We dont have enough money son because I have a crappy job and the man is out to ruin our lives" blah blah
  8. Aug 29, 2011
    3
    I'm pretty sure this was written as a comedy and then the director thought he could get Denzel two Oscars. It's the only explanation for a film this simultaneously ridiculous, preposterous, and incredibly earnest.
  9. RetchelA.
    Mar 19, 2007
    9
    I'm a nursing student from the Philippines. I watched the movie not because it was my choice but because it was a requirement in our nursing program. At first, I thought that the movie was all crap, just like what most movie reviews says..But they are mistaken because for me, Denzel Washington deserved the award that he got after doing the movie(best actor) because it was so I'm a nursing student from the Philippines. I watched the movie not because it was my choice but because it was a requirement in our nursing program. At first, I thought that the movie was all crap, just like what most movie reviews says..But they are mistaken because for me, Denzel Washington deserved the award that he got after doing the movie(best actor) because it was so good..Call it corny or anything like that but also admit that these kind of things can happen in the real setting, especially if you have the kind of family that John Q. had, a not-so-well-off family.. There was even a part of the movie where in I have to get out of the room just so I won't make myself be a laughing stuff and cry in front of my classmates!!! It feels so good to be able to watch a good movie like this after 'beyond borders'... This should be how fathers dedicate themselves in taking care of thier children.... Keep up the good work guys!!!(for all the members and crews of this movie). Expand
  10. [Anonymous]
    May 28, 2006
    1
    One word to describe this movie "Corny". I got into this movie in for free, yet I felt like i should've got paid for watching it. My two friends like it. They thought it was a smart movie because they got the repetitive "message". But this is coming from a couple of bone heads thought "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" was a brilliant comedy.
  11. NS
    Dec 13, 2004
    6
    I don't know why this movie was rated so low by the critics. Now I know it wasn't a strong script, and it had a lot of cliche moment's from other hostage movies, I could have sworn it tooks bits and pieces from movies such as Dog Day Afternoon, The Negotiator, Mad City, and other's I can't think of. But it is touching, and Denzel gives a strong performance. I know I don't know why this movie was rated so low by the critics. Now I know it wasn't a strong script, and it had a lot of cliche moment's from other hostage movies, I could have sworn it tooks bits and pieces from movies such as Dog Day Afternoon, The Negotiator, Mad City, and other's I can't think of. But it is touching, and Denzel gives a strong performance. I know it does try to push some propaganda on you, but look past the message of Health Care, and just rate the performances of the actors/actresses and the overall script and you come up with an above average mediocre movie. It needed a little bit more character developement. Characters that are supposed to be villains turn so easily, and cops are just stupid as heck. I hate movies that make the police or SWAT seem so clumsy/stupid, like any human being can just get away with anything. I mean, yeah I know our national security may not be top notch like in the movie SWAT but they sure as heck would miss with a snipe attack and then fall from the roof, losing his gun and then getting beat up. That's just ridiculous in a serious Drama movie. Expand
  12. KevinG.
    Oct 10, 2004
    10
    What a great move. Touches a persons heart.
  13. BeckyB.
    Jul 5, 2004
    10
    This movie is one of the best ever. Stop worry's about money think about the children that suffer, what if you were in those shoes as a parent, what would you do. A real parent would do anything to save their child. I know I would....
  14. AlexV.
    Apr 9, 2004
    10
    A movie that has believable emotions is quite rare these days. John Q. actually delivers.
  15. JonathanS.
    Apr 9, 2004
    10
    Simple, a great film enough said.
  16. Cassie
    Mar 10, 2004
    10
    I thought this movie was one which moved you and made you cry. John Q was a heroic father and never gave up. That gave great courage and bravery to do that he was even going to kill himself to sacrifice his life for another.
  17. DebD.
    Mar 6, 2004
    10
    This movie really brings to our attention the complete failure of our health care system in America. And should bring to our attention that this could be any one of us, our children, family, friends in the same situation. For those who depend of HMO's, I wish you all the best of luck, for those who can afford healh care & health care coverage, pray you NEVER have to fall into the This movie really brings to our attention the complete failure of our health care system in America. And should bring to our attention that this could be any one of us, our children, family, friends in the same situation. For those who depend of HMO's, I wish you all the best of luck, for those who can afford healh care & health care coverage, pray you NEVER have to fall into the hands of an HMO. Needless to say, I loved the movie! Bravo! Expand
  18. AngelaA.
    Feb 3, 2004
    10
    Whatever anyone says... they are just non -sense blabbers acting like smart asses.. denzel is AWESOME and he is one of the best actors. and this movie was one of his best. The movie has really touched so many people's hearts and has illustrated the health insurance problems in the US. needless to say ... I LOVED IT.
  19. Michele
    Jan 13, 2004
    9
    FIRSTLY, I think that the movie critics consulted on reviewing these movies are narrow-minded idiots. Give the masses sex appeal and you'll get a good rating. Yes, this movie was melodramatic in a sense, but anyone with the slightest bit of reasoning will clearly realize that was an added effect, not a hinderance. You don't like it because it manipulates your emotions to make FIRSTLY, I think that the movie critics consulted on reviewing these movies are narrow-minded idiots. Give the masses sex appeal and you'll get a good rating. Yes, this movie was melodramatic in a sense, but anyone with the slightest bit of reasoning will clearly realize that was an added effect, not a hinderance. You don't like it because it manipulates your emotions to make your biased outlook on this world reconsider itself. But heaven forbid you ever reconsider all the tripe fed to us through the media and the government. Human suffering, I suppose, is not recognized unless it can be exploited. But you don't care. Expand
  20. KatieP.
    Dec 22, 2003
    6
    I actually would have given this movie a '10' until I realized how cheap and overdone it really is. I hate it when movies make it so obvious that they want you to cry. grr.. snap snap.
  21. ChristopherV.
    Aug 14, 2003
    10
    A gripping movie. I love it.
  22. TonicaJ.
    Aug 3, 2003
    10
    I loved this film. I first watched it yesterday (in 2003)... yeah i know i am LATE! lol, But this film really touched me. I loved it. And i agree, how can anyone be dry eyed after watching this?
  23. NoelleH.
    May 11, 2003
    10
    This was one of the best real-life situation movies i've ever seen. they correctly portrayed the american medical system as well as pursuaded many viewers to go become orgen donors, I'm sure!
  24. BarbaraS.
    May 8, 2003
    10
    Yes, great actors, horrah for casting, . . . drama, love, real life, everything. Yes, subject of high importance. Thank's, Kim M., Alex D., Dekar !, Schelsea J. & Michael T!
  25. Ashley
    Mar 18, 2003
    10
    I absolutely love this movie I love everything about it it is soooooo good.
  26. NickV.
    Mar 16, 2003
    9
    Good movie.
  27. PMM
    Mar 3, 2003
    5
    I thought that the sctors did a very good job in this movie. But the movie was a bit too long and the ending wasn't very good at all.
  28. KimM.
    Nov 17, 2002
    10
    To all of you nay-sayers- Give Me A Break! This story should make EVERYONE want to go fill out a Organ Donor card- and write their congressman about the homicidic HMOs- they kill people! Mr. Washington was brilliant as usual, I cried over and over!
  29. AmandaT.
    Oct 11, 2002
    9
    I loved it, i watched the movie three times... a three, are you kidding me?
  30. AlexD.
    Sep 27, 2002
    10
    I don't care what the hell everybody else says, it is a gripping story about a father and his son. If you love your son or father, there is now way you can do anything but get caught up in the story. If you dont cry then you have no heart.
  31. Dekar
    Sep 16, 2002
    9
    Its a great movie, those awful reviews made by so-called professionals are just stupid. I recommend those dumbasses to change job ASAP and cease to bitch things that tons of people enjoyed. Shit get a life! And a brain while you're at it.
  32. SchelseaJ.
    Sep 16, 2002
    10
    If I could give it higher than that, I would. This movie is moving and shows the TRUTH about how money makes the world go round. It depicted an average American family who needed a miracle, only they couldn't PAY for it. Now how many average American families have gone through a situation like that? I know I have...
  33. MichaelT.
    Sep 7, 2002
    8
    I sell non HMO insurance. And I would bet the majority of reviews that slammed this movie are on their shitty corporate HMO. Do the research, I have, HMO's kill.
  34. JeffM.
    Sep 3, 2002
    4
    Washington's presence can usually make any lame-ass movie tolerable, but even he can't overcome this condescending story. Between this and Domestic Disturbance, I can't help but wonder why A-list talent sign on to pathetic projects like these. There has to be hundreds of intelligent screenplays floating around Hollywood studios at any given time, and they choose to Washington's presence can usually make any lame-ass movie tolerable, but even he can't overcome this condescending story. Between this and Domestic Disturbance, I can't help but wonder why A-list talent sign on to pathetic projects like these. There has to be hundreds of intelligent screenplays floating around Hollywood studios at any given time, and they choose to greenlight crap like John Q?? Expand
  35. RosaS.
    Sep 1, 2002
    2
    Good message, great cast but a movie that is poorly put together.
  36. Richard
    Aug 14, 2002
    4
    Takes a hot-button topic and strips it of all complexity in favor of one-dimensional characters, pat arguments, and ridiculously overheated situations. Curiously awkward humor from Eddie Griffin does nothing to alleviate the embarrassment. In the plus column, Denzel is his usual resourceful self and, in a hideously underwritten character, Anne Heche at least makes a perfectly hissable villain.
  37. EricS.
    Aug 10, 2002
    3
    The only tears this movie should generate are those of joy at it's conclusion.
  38. KoriB.
    Aug 4, 2002
    10
    This was and is the best and sadest movie i have seen in my life. i cried through the whole movie. i had a friend who died from not getting a heart transplant and i swear on his grave that his name was Michael M. and he had the same blood type as the boy in the movie. all the critics who put this movie down dont have hearts. they would feel the same way if they were in his shoes. i spit onThis was and is the best and sadest movie i have seen in my life. i cried through the whole movie. i had a friend who died from not getting a heart transplant and i swear on his grave that his name was Michael M. and he had the same blood type as the boy in the movie. all the critics who put this movie down dont have hearts. they would feel the same way if they were in his shoes. i spit on all of thier graves! Expand
  39. JeffJ.
    Aug 4, 2002
    1
    This was an absolutely horrible movie. I can't believe how weak minded the people who have responded are. Hollywood can put out any crud and they will eat it up. The script was weak, the acting was flat, the directing was silly. How you can get poor performances out of this cast is beyond me. However, it was a non-stop propoganda fest. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.
  40. BrianL.
    Jul 30, 2002
    10
    some of these critics must not be parents or have hearts of their own.
  41. ChrisD.
    Jul 29, 2002
    10
    The movie was awesome. Simply put. The problem I see here is the fact that these large companies, even the ones making their comment, or reviews here, are insensitive, cold and downright evil at heart. Any one person that could watch this movie and not understand or atleast have a better insight into the problems with HMOs and things of the like. It's a serious wake up call for us The movie was awesome. Simply put. The problem I see here is the fact that these large companies, even the ones making their comment, or reviews here, are insensitive, cold and downright evil at heart. Any one person that could watch this movie and not understand or atleast have a better insight into the problems with HMOs and things of the like. It's a serious wake up call for us parents and I think that everyone that really has a heart should look into their insurance, and GET IT if you don't have it. No HMO or PPD. They suck, they're vampires. Thanks for the opprotunity to express my opinion. Expand
  42. AndreyF.
    Jul 28, 2002
    9
    In my opinion, this movie is as good as it gets when it comes to propaganda media. I am very surprised in how well the story was composed and finished. I just think that they over-did the propaganda when they had a discussion about medical insurance near the middle of the movie.
  43. YattiE.
    Jul 23, 2002
    10
    This movie is the greatest movie I have ever seen. I being a father myself in some way I could feel the pain of that father. Washington's acting was so that it brought tears to my eyes. That doesn't seem like it would be any big deal but, that was the 1st time I had ever been moved by any movie of any kind, I don't even cry at any of the passings of family or friends. If This movie is the greatest movie I have ever seen. I being a father myself in some way I could feel the pain of that father. Washington's acting was so that it brought tears to my eyes. That doesn't seem like it would be any big deal but, that was the 1st time I had ever been moved by any movie of any kind, I don't even cry at any of the passings of family or friends. If you're a parent put yourself in that man's shoes and ask yourself what would you do? I did and it hit me and hit me hard. So, for that I have to give this movie a 10. Expand
  44. JasonM.
    Jul 23, 2002
    8
    I felt this movie was a great movie. I can't seem to understand why critics have rated it so poorly. Having two children myself and a few months back without insurance, due to office closing - it really hits home and makes you really think about how you would react if you were faced with a similar situation. I felt Denzel did an exellent acting job and Anne Heche does a good job I felt this movie was a great movie. I can't seem to understand why critics have rated it so poorly. Having two children myself and a few months back without insurance, due to office closing - it really hits home and makes you really think about how you would react if you were faced with a similar situation. I felt Denzel did an exellent acting job and Anne Heche does a good job making you want to hate her. Expand
  45. JamieR.
    Jul 17, 2002
    10
    I think the movie was great. For the men who gave it anything less than an 8, kiddo dramas are only for us girls. You want to make yourself sound important by typing in a few big words, you make no sense.
  46. KellyK.
    Jul 17, 2002
    10
    I loved it, i am on john q.'s side. if it was me instead of him i probably would of done the same thing. this story is true, there has been hospitals out there that only cared for themselves and not the patients. insurance or not insurance, when people are sick they need help.
  47. ValerieR.
    Jul 17, 2002
    9
    The only part in the movie I didn't understand was the first scene where the lady was passing the truck. Did she really think that she could pass going that slow? This movie really makes one think about the medical coverage you have. Is it enough? A lot of parents face this issue everyday. Now everyone can join in and see how it feels. Life is valuable. Great movie, great acting!!!
  48. RyanE.
    Apr 28, 2002
    9
    While not perfect, John Q comes very close to it. I have yet to understand why the critics judged this movie to be so horrible when in fact it was quite excellent. Washington's performance in John Q is equal to his performance in Training Day by making his character so believable. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat and you are not human if it doesn't make you shed at While not perfect, John Q comes very close to it. I have yet to understand why the critics judged this movie to be so horrible when in fact it was quite excellent. Washington's performance in John Q is equal to his performance in Training Day by making his character so believable. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat and you are not human if it doesn't make you shed at least one tear. Expand
  49. MattS.
    Mar 19, 2002
    9
    This is a really good movie. I don't know why critics are not giving it better ratings. Denzel should get an Oscar for this movie!!
  50. MichaelJeffreyC.
    Mar 8, 2002
    0
    Possibly the lamest, most amateurish script EVER. I can't quite figure out whether this is an Airplane!-type parody of "issue" movies--it's that (probably unintentionally) funny--or an unused script from the Soviet propaganda archives. I demanded and got a refund.
  51. Ed
    Mar 7, 2002
    3
    Washington is wonderful. The script hokum. And the result is propoganda.
  52. JarrodS.
    Feb 26, 2002
    9
    I thought that this movie had all the elements that a movie should. I don't really pay attention to the critics much because they don't know what they are talking about.
  53. ChadS.
    Feb 24, 2002
    5
    Good acting (Washington, Elise) can't transcend the preposterous screenplay and fully redeem "John Q." because it's juxtaposed against perfunctory(Duvall) and overwrought acting(Liotta) as well. This film is watchable because Washington & Elise make a convincing couple, and parents.
  54. JustinW.
    Feb 20, 2002
    10
    This is one of the greatest movies in a while. I dont know why the critics say its bad.
  55. MicheleJ.
    Feb 19, 2002
    7
    Denzel Washington is always worth seeing, and he gives a fine performance in this...his actress wife looks a bit young, and there is some overdramatization, but still an enjoyable movie!
Metascore
30

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 33
  2. Negative: 14 out of 33
  1. 20
    So lacking in shame that it finally seems laughable.
  2. This is an A-list cast toiling on a C-list screenplay.
  3. Not a movie but a live-action agitprop cartoon so shameless and coarse, it's almost funny.