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Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 44,912 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 111 user | 129 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Sam Childers is a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Daisy
...
Donnie
Ryann Campos ...
Paige #1
...
Paige #2
...
Deng
Grant R. Krause ...
Billy / Contractor (as Grant Krause)
Reavis Graham ...
Pastor Krause
...
Bill Wallace
...
Shannon Wallace
...
Biker Chick
...
Bartender (as Nicole Sobchack)
...
Shaved Head
Mike Litaker ...
Drifter
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Storyline

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, addicted gang biker Sam Childers is released from prison and learns that his wife Lynn is no longer a stripper but has converted to Christianity. One night, Sam and his best friend Donnie give a ride to a hitchhiker who threatens Donnie with a pocketknife; however Sam reacts and turns the tables on the stranger. Sam is affected by the incident and is convinced by Lynn and his mother Daisy to join their church, and he is baptized. Sam finds a straight job in construction. When he meets a preacher from Africa, he decides to visit the continent. Sam travels to Northern Uganda and South Sudan many times and builds an orphanage for the victims of the cruel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Further, he fights whenever necessary and becomes a legend known as The Machine Gun Preacher. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope is the greatest weapon of all


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content including disturbing images, language, some drug use and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

2 November 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El rescate  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$45,130 (USA) (23 September 2011)

Gross:

$537,580 (USA) (18 November 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Sam Childers, whom the story is based on, shows screenings of a heavily-edited version of the film in churches around the world. The proceeds of which are used to support his ongoing work in South Sudan. See more »

Goofs

When Sam is being baptized the preacher puts him backwards in the tank of water but Sam's clothes are already wet. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prison Clerk: [returning his belongings] You ya go.
Sam Childers: You all go fuck yourselves now, okay?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credit roll, clips and pictures of original main characters (Sam Childers, Lynn, Paige & SPLA Soldier, Deng) are shown. See more »

Connections

References Top Gun (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Written by Frank Beard, Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill (as Joe Hill)
Performed by ZZ Top
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hillbilly from Penn
2 October 2011 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Movies based on true stories and real people tend to receive the benefit of the doubt from me when they exaggerate those truths and characters. The real life Sam Childers at the beginning of the movie is an ex-con, druggie, gun-loving drug dealer, thug, lousy dad, worse husband, and overall man of failed character. When he finds God, he loses the drug labels but the only other thing that really changes is his postal address.

Sam Childers sees himself as a modern day crusader working to make a better life for the war orphans in Sudan. It's impossible to argue that he hasn't had an impact on lives. The real question is, at what cost and by what methods? Over the closing credits, we even get a clip of the real Sam asking us "does it matter how?".

You will find no debate here for whether or not this man has made a difference or whether his methods should be judged. This space is merely for analyzing the movie which is telling a story. Gerard Butler does an admirable job making Sam a somewhat sympathetic character. Re-read my first paragraph if you think that's easy! Michelle Monaghan plays Lynn, his incredibly supportive wife who actually helped Sam find God, rather than continue his criminal, drug-addled ways with friend Donnie (Michael Shannon).

While I found the story of the Sudanese children to be heart-breaking, the choppy and fragmented manner in which it's presented was quite annoying. The story began in 1998 but we never really knew what year it was or how much time had passed between Sam's trips home. Many of the gun battle scenes came across very staged and set-up for a cool shot of Butler brandishing a weapon and bandanna.

So while I found the story to be quite interesting, I found the delivery to be less than adequate. This despite fine performances from Butler, Monaghan, Shannon, Kathy Baker and Madeline Carroll. There are numerous magazine articles about Sam Childers and I believe you will find those more accurate and informative.


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