John Q

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John Q ★★ 2002 (PG-13)

“Dog Day Afternoon” lite is essentially a two hour tirade against the U.S. health system (who can blame them?) which casts Washington as the title's everyman hero who's desperate and gutsy enough to bypass medical bureaucracy altogether to get his 10-year old son Mike (Smith) the heart transplant he desperately needs to live. John Quincy Archibald's plant has just cut his hours, and when his HMO gives him the run-around, he is forced to come up with the $75,000 for his son's operation. Unable to come up with it, John Q. takes over the ER and demands his son be placed at the top of the transplant list. Talented cast, including Duvall as the sympathetic police negotiator, Woods as the cynical doctor, and Liotta, as the boldly drawn police chief, is generally wasted on the sentimental and melodramatic one-note premise. 118m/C VHS, DVD . US Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, James Woods, Anne Heche, Eddie Griffin, Kimberly Elise, Shawn Hatosy, Ray Liotta, Daniel E. Smith, David Thornton, Ethan Suplee, Kevin Connolly, Paul Johansson, Troy Beyer, Obba Babatunde, Laura Elena Harring; D: Nick Cassavetes; W: James Kearns; C: Rogier Stoffers; M: Aaron Zigman.