John Q Blu-ray Review – Tense & Emotional 2002 Drama

I’ve enjoying taking a closer look at the work of Denzel Washington, so far I reviewed several excellent films. However the one I’m looking here has a fabulous supporting cast including the likes of Robert Duvall, James Woods, Ray Liotta and Anne Heche to name just a few. Let’s take a look here’s my John Q blu-ray review.

What’s the film about? It’s the drama that shows the worst side of healthcare in America and what one man is prepared to do to challenge a clearly broken system. Does he succeed? Let’s find out.

  • John Q (2002)
  • Genre: Drama
  • Directed by Nick Cassavetes
  • Running Time: 112 Mins
  • UK Rating 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By Entertainment in Video


John Archibald’s (John Q) world is turned upside down following a medical emergency at his son’s baseball game that results in his son being hospitalised with a heart condition. However despite being in the best place John Archibald finds his medical insurers unwilling to meet the cost of his son’s treatment. With time running out what will an honest and decent man have to do to secure treatment?

Style / Direction

The film was directed by Nick Cassavetes whilst the cinematography is handled by Rogier Stoffers.

Music / Audio Effects

The music is composed by Aaron Zigman.

Acting / Characters

Denzel Washington is sensational as John Q, a regular guy that finds a loved one not covered by his health insurance policy meaning he is essentially left to die. It really is a terrific performance but the film is made so much better for the excellent supporting cast.

Daniel E. Smith plays Mike Archibald, John Q’s son. He really leaves his mark with an astonishingly good performance. Kimberly Elise plays his mother, she has a very tough role to play with emotions running high.

I really can’t fault any of the actors and I haven’t even mentioned the likes of Duvall, Woods, Heche and Liotta.


  • Denzel Washington as John Quincy Archibald
  • Kimberly Elise as Denise Archibald
  • Daniel E. Smith as Michael Archibald
  • Robert Duvall as Lt. Frank Grimes
  • James Woods as Dr. Raymond Turner
  • Anne Heche as Rebecca Payne
  • Ray Liotta as Chief Gus Monroe
  • Eddie Griffin as Lester Matthews
  • Shawn Hatosy as Mitch Quigley
  • David Thornton as Jimmy Palumbo
  • Laura Harring as Gina Palumbo
  • Ethan Suplee as Guard Max Conlin
  • Kevin Connolly as Steve Maguire
  • Paul Johansson as Tuck Lampley
  • Heather Wahlquist as Julie Byrd
  • Troy Beyer as Miriam Smith
  • Obba Babatundé as Sgt. Moody
  • Troy Winbush as Steve Smith
  • Larissa Laskin as Dr. Ellen Klein
  • Dina Waters as Debby Utley
  • Martha Chaves as Rosa Gonzales
  • Keram Malicki-Sánchez as Freddy B.
  • Vanessa Branch as Nurse
  • Stephanie Moore as Admitting Nurse
  • Gabriela Oltean as Beautiful BMW Driver

Conclusion: John Q (2002) Film Review

There is little doubt the John Q storyline of a father willing to do almost anything including crossing the line of what is legal to get the care for his son is a compelling one. Washington puts in a truly tremendous performance of a man left with no acceptable choices which drives him to act out of character. The supporting cast also help to keep you thoroughly engaged from start to finish. I mean when is a film not improved by the presence of Robert Duvall?

A lot of the film takes place in a hostage situation meaning the film really only works well if those characters trapped are interesting. Thankfully all of them are and it makes for some excellent dialogue.

Add this one to you list of films to see.

John Q Blu-ray Review

If you enjoyed my John Q blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:

Conclusion: John Q Blu-ray Review

I’ll start with the most important part, the picture quality it’s flawless as it should be without any annoying marks. What about the extras? Well there’s a 35 minute documentary about the realities of the American Healthcare system, whilst interesting and related to the film’s story it’s not something everyone will want to watch.

There is a behind the scenes feature that has all the cast and crews thoughts on the subject matter. Other than that there are deleted scenes which are actually extended scenes from those you see in the movie.

Overall a pretty good set of extras.


  • Commentaries
  • Fighting for Care
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Popcorn Cinema Rating: John Q (2002)





John Q (2002) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version

That’s my John Q blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:

What Do You Think?
Summary: John Q (2002) Blu-ray Review
John Q Blu-ray Review

Movie title: John Q (2002)

Duration: 112 mins

Director(s): Nick Cassavetes

Actor(s): Denzel Washington, Kimberly Elise, Robert Duvall, James Woods, Anne Heche, Ray Liotta, Daniel E. Smith

Genre: Drama

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


Washington delivers an incredibly powerful performance.