The revenge thriller "John Wick" throws Keanu Reeves into a matrix of underworld action. As it happens, "John" stands for action in other movie titles as well. Plus a Cold War black comedy. And a classic about a suicidal Everyman.
Meet John Doe (1941) Frank Capra's comedy-drama about a Depression-era down-and-outer (Gary Cooper) who gets exploited as the face of put-upon plain folk, to his nearly fatal regret, ranks No. 49 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years . . . 100 Cheers" list of the 100 most inspiring films. Its screenplay earned an Oscar nomination.
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965) In a political satire that is no "Dr. Strangelove," Richard Crenna plays the title character, a U-2 pilot and former college football player who crash-lands in a fictional Arabian country where the king (Peter Ustinov) wants him to coach his nation's team.
John Q (2002) John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington), who has no health insurance to pay for his dying son's heart transplant, takes hostages at a hospital to demand the boy get the operation.
John Carter (2012) The other Edgar Rice Burroughs heroic-adventure character goes from post-Civil War America to a civil war on Mars.