Picks and Pans Review: John Q.
When a good actor gets stuck in a bad movie, even the most glowing performance can't make the turkey fly. Washington, Oscar-nominated for Training Day, gives his considerable all as John Q. Archibald, a Chicago factory worker whose 9-year-old son desperately needs a heart transplant. When Archibald's HMO won't pay for the $250,000 operation and an icy hospital suit (Heche, who practically has "bad guy" stamped on her forehead) tells our hero she wants the cash up front, he takes over the emergency room at gunpoint. While John Q.'s own heart is obviously in the right place, its script is a manipulative, melodramatic mess. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Beyond cure