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
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 »
When Sam is being baptized the preacher puts him backwards in the tank of water but Sam's clothes are already wet. See more »
"Machine Gun Preacher" is an inspirational melodrama directed by Marc Forster and starring Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon. This film is based on the true story of Sam Childers a former gang biker who finds god, becomes a pastor and has dedicated his life and all his resources ever since to rescuing and protecting orphans in Sudan, Africa. Childers founded Angles of East Africa an orphanage located in South Sudan.
Marc Forster has under his belt an impressive resume with films like Quantum of Solace, The Kite Runner, Finding Neverland and Monster's Ball.
Reviewing this film has been very complicated because of its subject matter. The movie has a strong religious subject, addresses the civil conflict and severity of the crisis in Sudan, ideals, hypocrisy and religious fanaticism. This film will divide Christian audiences because of the redemptive arc of the tale.
This is one of those movies that will provoke both sympathy and aversion. Sam Childers (Butler) is not an ordinary preacher; he carries a machine gun and kills LRA rebels in self-defense looking at it as helping God's children. Sam had a troubled life, was a gang member, drug dealer, junkie, married a stripper, but his life dramatically changes around when he finds god or god finds him, as he states in the movie. He claims to be a soldier fighting for freedom and becomes a member of the SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army).
Mark Foster does a good job bringing such a complex and controversial story to the big screen utilizing his well-known visual skills. This movie has a lot of graphic and violent scenes, showing the horror caused by a civil war, torture, savage murders, and how entire villages are destroyed.
MPAA rating: R Runtime: 2:03 mins Production Co: Relativity Media, Virgin Produced, Apparatus Productions
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