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If your son needed a heart transplant and your medical coverage refused you any help, what would you do? In John Q, a new film by Nick Cassavetes (She's So Lovely), Denzel Washington plays a father driven to desperation by insurance company technicalities, unemployment, debt, and law enforcement. Unable to get help from authorities, he takes hostages in a hospital emergency room. This gets the attention of the press and results in a standoff with the police.

While it may be easy to sympathize with John, especially since he is portrayed as a God-fearing man, a loving husband, and an admirable father, religious press critics are displeased with the glorification of Mr. Q's vigilante tactics.

Steven J. Greydanus (Decent Films) asks, "Did I just walk into The Twilight Zone, or did Hollywood just release a post-9/11 film featuring an immaculately uniformed and decorated police chief as a bad guy, and a gun-wielding, hostage-taking terrorist as the hero?" He's not impressed with the character or the movie. "John makes his point with a gun and fiery determination. Cassavetes makes his with ham-fisted unsubtlety, blatant manipulation, embarrassingly stereotyped characters and clichéd situations, thuddingly preachy dialogue, bludgeoning musical cues, and finally even a string of celebrity cameos by Jay Leno, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Maher calling for health care reform."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says the filmmakers "stack the deck so obviously in favor of the common man … that they actually weaken the points being made. To honestly address the flaws inherent in how medical aid is made available to American workers, a more balanced or fair portrayal of both sides will be needed." But he adds, "What does shine ...

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