* AcceptableTargets: [=HMOs=], large hospitals, and essentially any other piece of corporate health care. The entire movie is essentially framed as an attack on the health establishment.
* {{Anvilicious}}
** SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: "This hospital is under new management! '''FREE HEALTH-CARE FOR ''EVERYBODY!!'' ''' "
** Watching the jury [[spoiler: only convict John of the lesser kidnapping charge]]
** "I am not gonna bury my '''''son!''''' My son is going to bury me!
* CrowningMomentOfFunny: When the abusive boyfriend gets what was coming to him...
* DesignatedHero: The audience is supposed to be cheering John on, but he does a lot of very questionably moral things. He takes an entire hospital waiting room hostage, (which leads to a patient almost dying), he makes doctors work on people at gunpoint (the gun may not have been loaded, but the doctors certainly didn't know that), and he essentially steals a heart from someone else, who will then die because they couldn't find a heart. And on top of that, he never questions his actions or feels any regret about what he's doing. Instead he keeps insisting that what he's doing is right, and chews anyone out who doesn't agree with him. Not only did this stunt waste the police's time and the taxpayer's money, but he also endangered the lives of dozens of people [[FridgeHorror and most likely inspired dozens of copycats]], but the audience is not supposed to think about this, because [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality he's the protagonist.]]
* StrawmanHasAPoint: At one point, the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat hospital administrator]] points out to the police that they cannot, under any circumstances, give John what he wants, or else there would be "guns in every hospital". Despite the fact that [[spoiler:John ''does'' get exactly what he wants, because he took hostages]], this is never brought up again.
* TearJerker: Denzel's powerful performance lends itself to a couple of these, particularly when he finds out about his son's condition