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John Q (2002)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

John Q (2002)

John Quincy Archibald's son Michael collapses while playing baseball as a result of heart failure. John rushes Michael to a hospital emergency room where he is informed that Michael's only hope is a transplant. Unfortunately, John's insurance won't cover his son's transplant. Out of options, John Q. takes the emergency room staff and patients hostage until hospital doctors agree to do the transplant. (Read More)

Themes:dying, robbery, politics, money, marriage, kidnapping
Locations:courtroom, kitchen, church, hospital
Characters:mayor, christian, hostage, nurse, doctor
Story:heart surgeon, auto repossession, medical insurance, health insurance, insurance company, heart failure, heart transplant, heart in hand, factory worker, baseball hat, tow truck, ambulance driver, pickup truck, hostage negotiator, hospital administrator, reference to bill maher, reference to jesse jackson, universal health care, hippocratic oath, thumb wrestling

21 Grams (2003)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

21 Grams (2003)

This is the story of three well-meaning but flawed people: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English emigre; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married homemaker with two young daughters, with hiding a secret past; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to live a law-abiding life and raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will have learnt harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably, forever. (Read More)

Themes:dying, marriage
Locations:church, hospital
Characters:christian, nurse, doctor
Story:heart failure, heart transplant, pickup truck, organ donor, organ donation, physician, heart, death of daughter, medicine, surgery, ambulance, police car, prayer, tears, shooting, watching tv, car accident, food, underwear, corpse

War Of The Worlds (2005)
Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller

War Of The Worlds (2005)

Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. When his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm suddenly touches down. What follows is the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it in this contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells seminal classic sci-fi thriller. (Read More)

Themes:dying, kidnapping
Locations:church
Characters:hostage
Story:pickup truck, reckless driving, desperation, tv news, sleeping, baseball, truck, eating, reporter, tears, rifle, watching tv, car accident, helicopter, food, corpse, pregnancy, song, crying, telephone call

Monster (2003)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Monster (2003)

The true story of serial killer Aileen Wuernos who was convicted of luring men to their death and eventually executed in 2002. In 1989, she was working as a prostitute and finally makes a friend when she meets and begins a relationship with a young woman, Selby. Determined to straighten out her life, she tries to find legitimate work but with little education and limited social skills, she fails at every turn. She starts working as a hooker hitching rides along the local interstate highway and after robbing a few clients has an encounter with a vicious client whom she kills in self-defense. After that however she just takes to killing clients taking their money and car. Once arrested she claims self-defense but is eventually convicted. (Read More)

Themes:money, robbery
Locations:courtroom, church
Characters:christian
Story:factory worker, jury, job interview, kicking, tv news, court, racial slur, trial, judge, truck, eating, tears, shooting, arrest, bus, watching tv, car accident, food, underwear, corpse

Sleepers (1996) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Sleepers (1996)

As children, Lorenzo Carcaterra - Shakes to his friends - Michael Sullivan, Tommy Marcano, and John Reilly were inseparable. They grew up in Hell's Kitchen, a far from perfect neighborhood, one filled as Shakes says with scams and shake downs, but one where the rules were known by its residents. The one adult who they admired was Father Bobby Carelli, who understood them as kids more than most adults and more than he himself would like to admit. In 1967, their lives would change forever when a typical teenage prank went wrong which led to the four of them being sentenced to various terms at Wilkinson Home for Boys, a reformatory. There, they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused primarily by Sean Nokes, the head guard of their cell block, and fellow guards Ralph Ferguson, Henry Addison, and Adam Styler, although there were other caring figures of authority at the home including other guards. Their time at the home affected the four, not all who were able to emerge from the experience to regroup their lives. In their want to forget about the experience, they made a vow not to talk about it either between themselves or with others. Fast forward thirteen years, with Tommy and Johnny being career criminals, Michael an assistant district attorney and Shakes a newspaper writer, their friendship on the surface more loose than it was when they were children. When Tommy and John spot Nokes, it leads to Shakes and Michael banding together to exact revenge not only on Nokes but all four of the guards who abused them. Michael had long mapped out a plan even before Tommy and John saw Nokes, but that sighting and its aftermath alters the plan. Beyond the precarious position Tommy and John place themselves into, Michael has the most to lose even if the plan succeeds. Most of the plan implementation is left to Shakes who has to enlist the machine of Hell's Kitchen, including mob boss King Benny, and their childhood friend, social worker Carol Martinez, who currently is John's girlfriend. Beyond co-opting aging lawyer Danny Snyder, who admits he may not be the best choice as an alcoholic who is no longer near the top of his game, the plan is threatened by a key piece, the need for an unreproachable figure to perjure him or herself, that person who Michael and Shakes hopes will be Father Bobby. Father Bobby, even if he knew of the abuse, may not be able to do his friends this enormous favor of an illegal nature, he who has to balance the morality of the situation in his own mind in deciding what to do. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, politics, marriage
Locations:kitchen, courtroom, church, hospital
Characters:mayor
Story:jury, ethics, kicked in the crotch, kicking, morality, court, racial slur, trial, judge, baseball, eating, reporter, tears, shooting, arrest, bus, watching tv, food, pregnancy, song

Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Blood Diamond (2006)

A story following Archer, a man tortured by his roots. With a strong survival instinct, he has made himself a key player in the business of conflict diamonds. Political unrest is rampant in Sierra Leone as people fight tooth for tooth. Upon meeting Solomon, and the beautiful Maddy, Archer's life changes forever as he is given a chance to make peace with the war around him. This is why Blood Diamond (2006) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:dying, money, kidnapping
Characters:doctor
Story:pickup truck, hiv, walkie talkie, demonstration, tv news, shot in the arm, racial slur, eating, montage, reporter, tears, rifle, shooting, bus, watching tv, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, food, corpse

Munich (2005)
Crime, Drama, History, Thriller

Munich (2005)

After Black September's assassination of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Prime Minister Golda Meir okays a black-box operation to hunt down and kill all involved. A team of five gathers in Switzerland led by Avner, a low-level Mossad techie whose father was a war hero and whose wife is pregnant. It's an expendable team, but relying on paid informants, they track and kill several in Europe and Lebanon. They must constantly look over their shoulders for the CIA, KGB, PLO, and their own sources. As the body count mounts -- with retribution following retribution -- so do questions, doubts, and sleepless nights. Loyalties blur. What does it mean to be a Jew? (Read More)

Themes:dying, politics, money, marriage, kidnapping
Locations:kitchen, hospital
Characters:hostage, doctor
Story:tv newscaster, ethics, telescope, tv news, childbirth, truck, eating, prayer, tears, rifle, shooting, arrest, bus, watching tv, shot in the chest, helicopter, food, underwear, corpse, pregnancy

The Boondock Saints (1999)
Action, Crime, Thriller

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Two Irish brothers accidentally kill mafia thugs. They turn themselves in and are released as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start knocking off mafia gang members one by one. Willem Dafoe plays the detective trying to figure out the killings, but the closer he comes to catching the Irish brothers, the more he thinks the brothers are doing the right thing. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, money
Locations:courtroom, church, hospital
Characters:christian
Story:air duct, kicked in the crotch, suffering, tv news, shot in the arm, court, racial slur, trial, eating, reporter, prayer, rifle, shooting, arrest, watching tv, shot in the chest, food, underwear, corpse, telephone call

Erin Brockovich (2000) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Biography, Drama

Erin Brockovich (2000)

'Erin Brockovich-Ellis' (qv) is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation. (Read More)

Themes:money, marriage
Locations:courtroom
Characters:doctor
Story:car accident, insurance, jury, job interview, nosebleed, terminal illness, court, trial, judge, eating, montage, tears, watching tv, food, crying, telephone call, surprise ending, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship

Pineapple Express (2008)
Action, Comedy, Crime

Pineapple Express (2008)

Lazy court-process clerk and stoner Dale Denton has only one reason to visit his equally lazy dealer Saul Silver: to purchase weed, specifically, a rare new strain called Pineapple Express. But when Dale becomes the only witness to a murder by a crooked cop and the city's most dangerous drug lord, he panics and dumps his roach of Pineapple Express at the scene. Dale now has another reason to visit Saul: to find out if the weed is so rare that it can be traced back to him--and it is. As Dale and Saul run for their lives, they quickly discover that they're not suffering from weed-fueled paranoia: incredibly, the bad guys really are hot on their trail and trying to figure out the fastest way to kill them both. All aboard the Pineapple Express. (Read More)

Themes:money, kidnapping
Locations:hospital
Characters:hostage, doctor
Story:reckless driving, duct tape, kicked in the crotch, kicking, suffering, shot in the arm, court, montage, police car, tears, rifle, shooting, arrest, shot in the chest, car accident, underwear, corpse, crying, telephone call, title spoken by character

The Dark Knight (2008)
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Dark Knight (2008)

Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new district attorney Harvey Dent successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as the Joker appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman's struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to "confront everything he believes" and improve his technology to stop him. A love triangle develops between Bruce Wayne, Dent and Rachel Dawes. This is why The Dark Knight (2008) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:robbery, politics, money, kidnapping
Locations:kitchen, hospital
Characters:mayor, christian, hostage, nurse, doctor
Story:telescope, parking garage, swat team, desperation, walkie talkie, die hard scenario, court, sniper, trial, judge, security guard, truck, montage, ambulance, reporter, rifle, arrest, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter

Public Enemies (2009)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Romance

Public Enemies (2009)

This is the story of the last few years of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. He loved what he did and could imagine little else that would make him happier. Living openly in 1930s Chicago, he had the run of the city with little fear of reprisals from the authorities. It's there that he meets Billie Frechette with whom he falls deeply in love. In parallel we meet Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who would eventually track Dillinger down. The FBI was is in its early days and Director J. Edgar Hoover was keen to promote the clean cut image that so dominated the organization through his lifetime. Purvis realizes that if he is going to get Dillinger, he will have to use street tactics and imports appropriate men with police training. Dillinger is eventually betrayed by an acquaintance who tells the authorities just where to find him on a given night. (Read More)

Themes:dying, money, kidnapping
Locations:kitchen, hospital
Characters:hostage, doctor
Story:ethics, morality, surgery, shot in the arm, court, chicago illinois, judge, eating, police car, tears, rifle, shooting, arrest, shot in the chest, car accident, food, corpse, song, crying, telephone call

The Road (2009) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Adventure, Drama

The Road (2009)

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to steal what they have managed to scavenge for their own survival, but may kill them as food. Although life with his father in this world is all the boy has known, he may come to his own thoughts as to what it means holistically to be one of the good or one of the bad. Meanwhile, the man occasionally has thoughts to happier times with his wife/the boy's mother before the apocalypse, as well as not as happy times with her after the apocalypse and the reason she is no longer with them. (Read More)

Themes:dying, robbery
Locations:church
Story:gun in mouth, suffering, telescope, desperation, sleeping, childbirth, truck, eating, road trip, tears, rifle, shot in the chest, food, underwear, corpse, pregnancy, crying, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, mother son relationship

Jarhead (2005)
Action, Biography, Drama, War

Jarhead (2005)

Anthony "Swoff" Swofford, a Camus-reading kid from Sacramento, enlists in the Marines in the late 1980s. He malingers during boot camp, but makes it through as a sniper, paired with the usually-reliable Troy. The Gulf War breaks out, and his unit goes to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. After 175 days of boredom, adrenaline, heat, worry about his girlfriend finding someone else, losing it and nearly killing a mate, demotion, latrine cleaning, faulty gas masks, and desert football, Desert Storm begins. In less than five days, it's over, but not before Swoff sees burned bodies, flaming oil derricks, an oil-drenched horse, and maybe a chance at killing. Where does all the testosterone go? (Read More)

Characters:nurse
Story:sniper, bureaucrat, bureaucracy, supermarket, tv news, truck, reporter, prayer, tears, rifle, shooting, bus, watching tv, helicopter, underwear, corpse, pregnancy, song, crying, telephone call

Vantage Point (2008)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Vantage Point (2008)

The President of the United States is in Salamanca, Spain, about to address the city in a public square. We see a plain-clothes cop, his girlfriend with another man, a mother and child, an American tourist with a video camera, and a Secret Service agent newly returned from medical leave. Shots ring out and the President falls; a few minutes later, we hear a distant explosion, then a bomb goes off in the square. Those minutes are retold, several times, emphasizing different characters' actions. Gradually, we discover who's behind the plot. Is the Secret Service one step ahead, or have the President's adversaries thought of everything? (Read More)

Themes:dying, politics, kidnapping
Locations:church
Characters:mayor, hostage
Story:tv newscaster, parking garage, walkie talkie, demonstration, sniper, security guard, ambulance, police car, reporter, tears, rifle, shooting, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, crying, telephone call, surprise ending, father son relationship, police

Changeling (2008)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller

Changeling (2008)

Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? This is why Changeling (2008) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:dying, kidnapping
Locations:courtroom, church
Characters:mayor, nurse
Story:police chief, jury, suffering, desperation, demonstration, court, trial, judge, eating, police car, reporter, prayer, tears, rifle, shooting, arrest, bus, food, song, crying

The Negotiator (1998) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The Negotiator (1998)

In the midst of an elaborate conspiracy, an expert negotiator is driven to the edge when he's framed for the murder of his partner, as well as embezzling money from his department's pension fund. His only chance to prove his innocence is to take hostages himself, acquire the services of another expert negotiator, and find out who's running the conspiracy before it's too late. (Read More)

Themes:money, marriage, kidnapping
Characters:hostage
Story:hostage negotiator, kidnapper kidnapped relationship, standoff, swat team, desperation, shot in the arm, die hard scenario, chicago illinois, sniper, shooting, shot in the chest, helicopter, surprise ending, title spoken by character, gun, police, death

Baby Driver (2017)
Action, Crime, Music, Thriller

Baby Driver (2017)

Baby is a young and partially hearing impaired getaway driver who can make any wild move while in motion with the right track playing. It's a critical talent he needs to survive his indentured servitude to the crime boss, Doc, who values his role in his meticulously planned robberies. However, just when Baby thinks he is finally free and clear to have his own life with his new girlfriend, Deborah, Doc coerces him back for another job. Now saddled with a crew of thugs too violently unstable to keep to Doc's plans, Baby finds himself and everything he cares for in terrible danger. To survive and escape the coming maelstrom, it will take all of Baby's skill, wits and daring, but even on the best track, can he make it when life is forcing him to face the music? (Read More)

Themes:robbery, money
Story:pickup truck, reckless driving, parking garage, swat team, walkie talkie, shot in the arm, court, racial slur, trial, judge, security guard, montage, police car, arrest, watching tv, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, corpse, song

Logan (2017)
Action, Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

Logan (2017)

In 2029 the mutant population has shrunken significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins - In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are aging, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over. (Read More)

Themes:money, kidnapping
Locations:hospital
Characters:hostage, nurse, doctor
Story:pickup truck, stabbed in the arm, telescope, swat team, desperation, walkie talkie, medicine, shot in the arm, racial slur, truck, montage, police car, road trip, watching tv, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, corpse, surprise ending, title spoken by character

The Judge (2014)
Crime, Drama

The Judge (2014)

Hank Palmer is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. When His brother calls with the news that their mother has died, Hank returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral. Despite the brittle bond between Hank and the Judge, Hank must come to his father's aid and defend him in court. Here, Hank discovers the truth behind the case, which binds together the dysfunctional family and reveals the struggles and secrecy of the family. (Read More)

Themes:dying, money, marriage
Locations:courtroom, church, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:judge, jury, video surveillance, terminal illness, court, chicago illinois, trial, truck, eating, ambulance, police car, arrest, car accident, food, underwear, corpse, pregnancy, father daughter relationship, mother son relationship, father son relationship

Body Of Lies (2008) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller, War

Body Of Lies (2008)

Roger Ferris is a CIA operative in the Middle East; Ed Hoffman is his control at Langley. Cynicism is everywhere. In Amman, Roger works with Hani Salaam, Jordan's head of security, whose only dictum is "Don't lie to me." The Americans are in pursuit of a cleric who leads a group placing bombs all over Europe. When Hani rebukes Ed's demand that Jordan allow the Americans to use one of Jordan's double agents, Roger and Ed hatch a plan to bring the cleric to them. The plan is complicated by its being a secret from Hani and by Roger's attraction to a local nurse. Satellites and cell phones, bodies and lies: modern warfare. This is why Body Of Lies (2008) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:money, kidnapping
Locations:hospital
Characters:nurse, doctor
Story:video surveillance, kicking, telescope, swat team, tv news, surgery, die hard scenario, eating, prayer, rifle, watching tv, shot in the chest, helicopter, food, corpse, crying, telephone call, surprise ending, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship

Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003)
Action, Thriller

Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003)

In the third movie of Rodriguez's "Mariachi" trilogy, a Mexican drug lord pretends to overthrow the Mexican government, and is connected to a corrupt CIA agent who at that time, demands retribution from his worst enemy to carry out the drug lord's uprising against the government.

Themes:robbery, money, marriage
Locations:church, hospital
Characters:hostage, nurse, doctor
Story:pickup truck, standoff, latina, surgeon, death of daughter, surgery, shot in the arm, prayer, rifle, shooting, bus, watching tv, car accident, underwear, corpse, pregnancy, telephone call, surprise ending, singing, cigarette smoking

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

East Germany, the year 1989: A young man protests against the regime. His mother watches the police arresting him and suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma. Some months later, the GDR does not exist anymore and the mother awakes. Since she has to avoid every excitement, the son tries to set up the GDR again for her in their flat. But the world has changed a lot. (Read More)

Themes:politics, money, marriage
Locations:hospital
Characters:nurse, doctor
Story:heart, nosebleed, demonstration, supermarket, eating, montage, ambulance, tears, arrest, watching tv, helicopter, food, pregnancy, song, crying, singing, police, father daughter relationship, mother son relationship, father son relationship

The Fugitive (1993)
Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The Fugitive (1993)

A well respected Chicago surgeon Dr. Richard Kimble has found out that his wife, Helen, has been murdered ferociously in her own home. The police found Kimble and accused him of the murder. Then, Kimble (without Justifiable Reason) was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. However, on the way to prison, Kimble's transport crashed. Kimble escapes and is now on the run. Deputy Samuel Gerard from Chicago takes charge of the chase of Kimble. Meanwhile, Kimble takes up his own investigation to find who really killed his wife, and to lure Gerard and his team into it as well. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, money
Locations:hospital
Characters:hostage, nurse, doctor
Story:surgeon, bus, crash victim, reckless driving, walkie talkie, court, mistaken identity, chicago illinois, judge, ambulance, police car, arrest, shot in the chest, helicopter, corpse, surprise ending, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, police, death

The Man From Earth (2007) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Drama, Fantasy, Sci-fi

The Man From Earth (2007)

Themes:dying
Locations:church
Characters:christian, doctor
Story:heart failure, pickup truck, truck, ambulance, police car, tears, crying, telephone call, surprise ending, father son relationship, police, death

K-pax (2001)
Drama, Sci-fi

K-pax (2001)

Themes:dying, robbery, marriage
Locations:hospital
Characters:christian
Story:death of daughter, telescope, morality, sleeping, watching tv, pregnancy, surprise ending, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, mother son relationship, father son relationship, family relationships, blood, death, police

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Based upon a real-life story that happened in the early seventies in which the Chase Manhattan Bank in Gravesend, Brooklyn, was held siege by a bank robber determined to steal enough money for his male lover to undergo a sex change operation. On a hot summer afternoon, the First Savings Bank of Brooklyn is held up by Sonny and Sal, two down-and-out characters. Although the bank manager and female tellers agree not to interfere with the robbery, Sonny finds that there's actually nothing much to steal, as most of the cash has been picked up for the day. Sonny then gets an unexpected phone call from Police Captain Moretti, who tells him the place is surrounded by the city's entire police force. Having few options under the circumstances, Sonny nervously bargains with Moretti, demanding safe escort to the airport and a plane out of the country in return for the bank employees' safety. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, money, marriage
Characters:hostage, doctor
Story:air conditioning, standoff, demonstration, tv news, sniper, security guard, police car, reporter, prayer, rifle, shooting, arrest, helicopter, crying, telephone call, police, mother son relationship, father son relationship, gun

The Taking Of Pelham 123 (2009)
Action, Crime, Thriller

The Taking Of Pelham 123 (2009)

In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he'll start shooting hostages. He'll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it's unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers, and negotiators live through this? (Read More)

Themes:money
Characters:mayor, hostage
Story:hostage negotiator, standoff, swat team, shot in the arm, die hard scenario, sniper, shooting, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, corpse, surprise ending, police, death, blood

The Last King Of Scotland (2006) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Biography, Drama, History, Thriller

The Last King Of Scotland (2006)

In the early 1970s, Nicholas Garrigan, a young semi-idealistic Scottish doctor, comes to Uganda to assist in a rural hospital. Once there, he soon meets up with the new President, Idi Amin, who promises a golden age for the African nation. Garrigan hits it off immediately with the rabid Scotland fan, who soon offers him a senior position in the national health department and becomes one of Amin's closest advisers. However as the years pass, Garrigan cannot help but notice Amin's increasingly erratic behavior that grows beyond a legitimate fear of assassination into a murderous insanity that is driving Uganda into bloody ruin. Realizing his dire situation with the lunatic leader unwilling to let him go home, Garrigan must make some crucial decisions that could mean his death if the despot finds out. (Read More)

Themes:politics, marriage
Locations:hospital
Characters:hostage, doctor
Story:sick child, kicking, eating, shooting, bus, shot in the chest, car accident, food, underwear, pregnancy, song, telephone call, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, mother son relationship, father son relationship, family relationships, blood, death, gun

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Action, Thriller

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent's crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane's plans to destroy the city.

Themes:robbery, kidnapping
Locations:kitchen, hospital
Characters:mayor, hostage, doctor
Story:tow truck, blood transfusion, parking garage, swat team, walkie talkie, die hard scenario, court, sniper, trial, judge, security guard, truck, ambulance, rifle, bus, watching tv, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, corpse

A History Of Violence (2005)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

A History Of Violence (2005)

This is the story of a mild-mannered man, named Tom Stall, who becomes a local hero through an act of violence, he lives a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana. But one night their idyllic existence is shattered when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner. Sensing danger, he takes action and saves his customers and friends in the self-defense killings of two-sought-after criminals. Heralded as a hero, Tom's life is changed overnight, attracting a national media circus, which forces him into the spotlight. Uncomfortable with his newfound celebrity, Tom tries to return to the normalcy of his ordinary life only to be confronted by a mysterious and threatening man who arrives in town believing Tom is the man who wronged him in the past. As Tom and his family fight back against this case of mistaken identity and struggle to cope with their changed reality, they are forced to confront their relationships and the divisive issues which surface as a result. This is why A History Of Violence (2005) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:robbery, marriage, kidnapping
Locations:church, hospital
Characters:christian, hostage
Story:mistaken identity, standoff, reckless driving, kicked in the crotch, kicking, nosebleed, police car, tears, rifle, shooting, shot in the chest, telephone call, surprise ending, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship, mother son relationship, father son relationship, family relationships, gun, death

City Of Angels (1998)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

City Of Angels (1998)

Seth is an angel who accompanies the spirits of the recently dead to the ever after. Seth has never been human and so has has never experienced touch or taste. When in the hospital however he comes across Dr. Maggie Rice, a brilliant young heart surgeon who is devoted to her profession and her patients. Seth has the power to let himself be seen but Maggie finds him far too mysterious. Seth also meets a patient, Nathaniel Messinger, who has news for him - he too was once an angel like Seth but chose to fall to Earth and become human. Seth makes a decision on his future, which does not turn out as he had expected. (Read More)

Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:heart surgeon, surgeon, heart, heart in hand, physician, death of daughter, surgery, truck, cigarette smoking, death

16 Blocks (2006) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

16 Blocks (2006)

Jack Mosley, a burnt-out detective, is assigned the unenviable task of transporting a fast-talking convict from jail to a courthouse 16 blocks away. However, along the way he learns that the man is supposed to testify against Mosley's colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead. Mosley must choose between loyalty to his colleagues and protecting the witness, and never has such a short distance seemed so long... (Read More)

Themes:kidnapping
Characters:hostage
Story:gun in mouth, standoff, swat team, court, sniper, ambulance, rifle, shooting, bus, watching tv, car accident, corpse, telephone call, surprise ending, title spoken by character, gun, police, blood, death

The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)

A mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke, (Ryan Gosling) drives out of a traveling carnival globe of death and whizzes through the backstreets of Schenectady, New York, desperately trying to connect with a former lover, Romina, (Eva Mendes) who recently and secretly gave birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross, (Bradley Cooper) looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption. The sweeping drama unfolds over fifteen years as the sins of the past haunt the present days lives of two high school boys wrestling with the legacy they've inherited. The only refuge is found in the place beyond the pines. (Read More)

Themes:money, kidnapping
Locations:courtroom, church, hospital
Characters:hostage
Story:pickup truck, welding, police chief, gun in mouth, tv news, court, truck, eating, montage, ambulance, police car, prayer, tears, shooting, arrest, watching tv, shot in the chest, food, crying, telephone call

Man Som Hatar Kvinnor (2009)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Man Som Hatar Kvinnor (2009)

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle suspects murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history; but, the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves. (Read More)

Locations:courtroom, hospital
Story:court, reckless driving, duct tape, kicked in the crotch, kicking, tv news, sleeping, sniper, trial, eating, montage, ambulance, police car, reporter, rifle, shooting, bus, watching tv, car accident, food

The Blues Brothers (1980)
Action, Comedy, Crime, Music, Musical

The Blues Brothers (1980)

After the release of Jake Blues from prison, he and brother Elwood go to visit "The Penguin", the last of the nuns who raised them in a boarding school. They learn the Archdiocese will stop supporting the school and will sell the place to the Education Authority. The only way to keep the place open is if the $5000 tax on the property is paid within 11 days. The Blues Brothers want to help, and decide to put their blues band back together and raise the money by staging a big gig. As they set off on their "mission from God" they seem to make more enemies along the way. Will they manage to come up with the money in time? This is why The Blues Brothers (1980) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:money
Locations:church
Story:reckless driving, firefighter, swat team, factory, chicago illinois, racial slur, sniper, montage, ambulance, police car, road trip, rifle, shooting, arrest, car accident, song, singing, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, character name in title

Zodiac (2007) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller

Zodiac (2007)

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, politics
Characters:mayor
Story:pickup truck, tv news, judge, montage, reporter, rifle, shooting, arrest, watching tv, shot in the chest, helicopter, underwear, telephone call, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, police, father daughter relationship, father son relationship, mother son relationship, family relationships

The Insider (1999)
Biography, Drama, Thriller

The Insider (1999)

Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth come out? (Read More)

Themes:politics, money, marriage
Locations:courtroom
Story:health insurance, health care, ethics, tv news, court, security guard, reporter, shooting, arrest, corpse, telephone call, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship, father son relationship, mother son relationship, family relationships, police, gun, death

Cold Mountain (2003)
Adventure, Drama, History, Romance, War

Cold Mountain (2003)

This Civil War saga addresses romance, friendship, and the ravages of war--both in the field and on the home front. Captures the horrors of war for both those fighting it, and for those left behind. This is a tale of hope, longing, redemption, second chances, and faith.

Themes:dying
Locations:church, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:hymn, kicking, sniper, eating, prayer, rifle, shooting, shot in the chest, food, underwear, corpse, pregnancy, singing, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, father son relationship, mother son relationship, family relationships, blood, death

The Bucket List (2007)
Adventure, Comedy, Drama

The Bucket List (2007)

Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy in life. (Read More)

Themes:dying, money, marriage
Locations:courtroom, hospital
Characters:nurse, doctor
Story:ethics, terminal illness, surgery, court, road trip, prayer, tears, watching tv, corpse, song, crying, telephone call, singing, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship, father son relationship, mother son relationship, family relationships, death, gun

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Drama, Horror, Thriller

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

When a younger girl called Emily Rose dies, everyone puts blame on the exorcism which was performed on her by Father Moore prior to her death. The priest is arrested on suspicion of murder. The trail begins with lawyer Erin Bruner representing Moore, but it is not going to be easy, as no one wants to believe what Father Moore says is true. This is why The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Locations:courtroom, church, hospital
Characters:christian, doctor
Story:jury, tv news, court, trial, judge, prayer, watching tv, car accident, telephone call, surprise ending, title spoken by character, death, father daughter relationship, mother son relationship, father son relationship, character name in title, family relationships, police

Hell Or High Water (2016)
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Western

Hell Or High Water (2016)

In Texas, after the death of his mother, the unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard is losing his ranch to the Texas Midlands Bank. Toby is divorced from his wife who lives with their two sons. When his brother Tanner Howard is released from the prison, they team up to rob agencies of the Texas Midlands Bank to raise money to pay the loan so that Toby may leave the real estate to his sons. Meanwhile the Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton who is near retirement and his Indian descendant partner Alberto Parker try to anticipate the next move of the thieves. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, money
Characters:hostage
Story:pickup truck, duct tape, desperation, racial slur, sniper, security guard, police car, rifle, shooting, watching tv, shot in the chest, car accident, surprise ending, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, father son relationship, mother son relationship, blood, death, police

Blue Valentine (2010)
Drama, Romance

Blue Valentine (2010)

Dean Pereira and Cindy Heller Pereira are a young, working class married couple - Dean currently working as a painter, and Cindy working as a nurse in a medical clinic - with a young daughter named Frankie. Despite their relatively tender ages, they are both ravaged by the life they've eked out together and by the experiences they've had leading into their marriage. Dean, a high school drop out, comes from a broken home, where he never really had a mother figure. He never saw himself getting married or having a family despite falling in love at first sight with Cindy. He doesn't have any professional ambition beyond his current work - which he enjoys since he feels he can knock off a beer at 8 o'clock in the morning without it affecting his work - although Cindy believes he has so much more potential in life. Cindy also comes from a dysfunctional family, with her own mother and father not setting an example of a harmonious married or family life. One of her previous serious relationships was with Bobby Ontario, that relationship which has a profound affect on many aspects of her marriage to Dean. Dean and Cindy head off on an overnight getaway together without Frankie, the getaway which may provide a clearer picture if their marriage can survive its many issues. (Read More)

Themes:money, marriage
Characters:nurse, doctor
Story:job interview, kicking, sleeping, judge, truck, eating, montage, prayer, tears, bus, food, pregnancy, song, crying, telephone call, singing, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship, family relationships, fight

Valkyrie (2008)
Drama, History, Thriller, War

Valkyrie (2008)

In Nazi Germany during World War II, as the tide turned in favor of The Allies, a cadre of senior German officers and politicians desperately plot to topple the Nazi regime before the nation is crushed in a near-inevitable defeat. To this end, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, an Army officer convinced he must save Germany from Hitler, is recruited to mastermind a real plan. To do so, he arranges for the internal emergency measure, Operation: Valkyrie, to be changed to enable his fellows to seize control of Berlin after the assassination of the Fuhrer. However, even as the plan is put into action, a combination of bad luck and human failings conspire on their own to create a tragedy that would prolong the greater one gripping Europe. (Read More)

Themes:politics
Locations:courtroom, church, hospital
Story:physician, shot in the arm, court, judge, eating, tears, rifle, shooting, arrest, shot in the chest, food, song, crying, telephone call, singing, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, father son relationship, mother son relationship, family relationships

Four Brothers (2005) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Four Brothers (2005)

Four adopted brothers come to avenge their mother's death in what appears to be a random killing in a grocery store robbery. However, the boys' investigation of the death reveals more nefarious activities involving the one brother's business dealings with a notorious local hoodlum. Two cops who are trying to solve the case may also not be what they seem. (Read More)

Themes:robbery, marriage
Characters:hostage
Story:insurance, video surveillance, parking garage, racial slur, prayer, shot in the chest, car accident, helicopter, surprise ending, mother son relationship, family relationships, police, fight, death

Lars And The Real Girl (2007)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Lars And The Real Girl (2007)

In this comedy, Lars Lindstrom is an awkwardly shy young man in a small northern town who finally brings home the girl of his dreams to his brother and sister-in-law's home. The only problem is that she's not real - she's a sex doll Lars ordered off the Internet. But sex is not what Lars has in mind, but rather a deep, meaningful relationship. His sister-in-law is worried for him, his brother thinks he's nuts, but eventually the entire town goes along with his delusion in support of this sweet natured boy that they've always loved. This is why Lars And The Real Girl (2007) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002). (Read More)

Themes:dying
Locations:church, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:hymn, physician, choir, eating, ambulance, food, pregnancy, song, telephone call, singing, father son relationship, character name in title, family relationships, death

The Departed (2006)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Departed (2006)

In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello. While Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan, a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by their double lives, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations they have penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there is a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy - and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save themselves. But is either willing to turn on their friends and comrades they've made during their long stints undercover? (Read More)

Themes:dying, robbery, money
Locations:kitchen, church, hospital
Characters:christian
Story:standoff, firefighter, kicking, racial slur, eating, montage, ambulance, police car, shooting, arrest, watching tv, shot in the chest, car accident, food, underwear, pregnancy, crying, telephone call, surprise ending, singing

Enemy At The Gates (2001)
Drama, History, War

Enemy At The Gates (2001)

In World War II, the fall of Stalingrad will mean the collapse of the whole country. The Germans and Russians are fighting over every block, leaving only ruins behind. The Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev stalks the Germans, taking them out one by one, thus hurting the morale of the German troops. The political officer Danilov leads him on, publishing his efforts to give his countrymen some hope. But Vassili eventually start to feel that he can not live up to the expectations on him. He and Danilov fall in love with the same girl, Tanya, a female soldier. From Germany comes the master sniper Konig to put an end to the extraordinary skilled Russian sniper. (Read More)

Themes:politics
Locations:hospital
Story:sniper, gun in mouth, telescope, shot in the arm, factory, montage, prayer, rifle, shooting, shot in the chest, corpse, singing, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship, mother son relationship, father son relationship, fight, gun, death, blood

Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) is one of the best movies like John Q (2002)
Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, War

Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant 'T.E. Lawrence' (qv) is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali, Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port. (Read More)

Themes:dying, politics, money
Locations:hospital
Characters:nurse
Story:suffering, shot in the arm, sleeping, truck, eating, reporter, tears, rifle, shooting, arrest, food, corpse, song, crying, singing, cigarette smoking, father son relationship, character name in title, gun, death

Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Biography, Crime, Drama

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

New Rochelle, the 1960s. High schooler Frank Abagnale Jr. idolizes his father, who's in trouble with the IRS. When his parents separate, Frank runs away to Manhattan with $25 in his checking account, vowing to regain dad's losses and get his parents back together. Just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France; he's extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $4,000,000 in bad checks. Along the way, he's posed as a Pan Am pilot, a pediatrician, and an attorney. And, from nearly the beginning of this life of crime, he's been pursued by a dour FBI agent, Carl Hanratty. What starts as cat and mouse becomes something akin to father and son. (Read More)

Themes:money
Locations:courtroom, church, hospital
Characters:mayor, nurse, doctor
Story:emergency room, physician, choir, job interview, judge, security guard, montage, police car, prayer, arrest, singing, cigarette smoking, father daughter relationship, father son relationship, mother son relationship, police

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