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Still shot from the movie: John Q.

John Q

The line between entertainment and issue is crossed when a desperate John Q. (Denzel Washington) takes a surgeon and patients at gunpoint because the hospital is refusing to provide his son with a heart transplant unless the family can come up with a quarter of a million-dollars. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: B-
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: A-
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: B+
Run Time: 116
Theater Release: 14 Feb 2002
Video Release: 15 Jul 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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How We Determine Our Grades

After watching a movie with your children or students, we encourage parents and teachers to look for education opportunities to teach with movies. Here are a few discussion topics that can help with lesson plans or teaching in the home.

Was John Q. justified? When are we justified in breaking the law to claim our rights as individuals?

In what ways does a democratic society allow us to make sure our rights as individuals are protected? How do elections fit into this answer? Why is it important to exercise your democratic rights in order to improve or change “The System?”

In this movie, the media are responsible for helping generate public support for John Q. In reality, do you think media coverage can help or put the hostages at greater risk? Does media coverage encourage or discourage people to commit crimes?

Why would the director choose to include actual celebrities and politicians near the end of the film? What other methods are used to make you believe you are witnessing a “real” situation?

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson