movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
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When the movie starts we see a woman driving along a winding road. She tries to overtake a truck but gets hit by another oncoming truck and the first truck crashes into her car. This is important later.
Next we see John Q (Denzel Washington) He works in a factory twenty hours a week and is trying to find a new job but is too skilled for the jobs that are available. He is falling behind on his bills and the bank repossesses his wife's car. This makes her angry with him because he never does anything.
John and his wife have a son. One day while watching him play baseball the son collapses.
They take him to the hospital and they find out he has an enlarged heart. He needs a heart transplant but the hospital administrator (Anne Heche) says that John Q doesn't have enough insurance to pay for it. He will therefore have to pay cash - $250,000, and his insurance only provides $20,000 of that. If he cant pay she won't put his son's name on the donor's list. The other option is to resign himself to his son dying.
John trys to get the money for his insurance, from the government, through fundraising at his church and sells nearly everything he owns. But he can't raise enough money and one day his wife calls to tell him that they are sending his son home and he needs to do something.
He goes to the hospital and takes the heart surgeon (James Wood) and some other people hostage in the emergency room.
The police come and he demands that they put his son on the donor list or he will start killing people. At one point the police tell him they'll do it so that they can get him in position to shoot at him. The sniper misses but in the meantime Anne Heche puts the son on the list as a bargaining chip.
Then John Q demands that his son be taken to him in the emergency room. When he gets there he says that his plan all along was to kill himself and have James Woods give his son his heart which happens to be a match.
At about this time we start to see scenes of the woman in the car crash. James Woods refuses to transplant John's heart until he says that he'll kill himself anyway and will Woods just let the heart go to waste.
Woods finally agrees and they start to prepare for the transplant. John Q tells his son a very tearful goodbye. Then we see that the woman in the crash was an organ donor and her heart is also a match. This is faxed to the hospital and they start to race over to John to tell him they have a heart. In the meantime John puts a bullet in the gun ( which was empty all along) and fires it at his head. But it doesn't go off because the safety was on. He's about to do it the second time when he finds out about the heart (although they don't show you this part) you next see the heart transplant being done on his son.
The final scene is at the courthouse where John Q is convicted of unlawfully detaining the hostages (all of whom had grown to like him during the hostage situation) and he is sentenced to 3 to 5 years but the lawyer says she can bargain that down to 2. Then John says good bye to his son who is now better and he is driven off to prison.
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