Critic Reviews

43

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
One can't escape the nagging feeling that the film doesn't dig deeply enough into its real-life hero. The film doesn't explore all those "whys" and "whats."
63
The action sequences are energetic and suspenseful but they don't always mesh well with the dramatic material.
63
If you'd pay to see a film called "Hotel Rwanda: Maniac Manager," you might be receptive to this mixed-message movie, but skeptics should keep one eye on the exit.
60
If anything, watching the film is like attending an old-style Southern tent revival - you want to believe in the fight against all that fire and brimstone. Heck, you want to join the righteous brigade. But when the lights go up and the fever dies down, it feels more like you've witnessed a show than a real showdown with the devil.
50
Is he a hero or a lunatic? He's possibly neither, or possibly a little of both, but this is the problem with making a movie about a real person.
50
By the end of Machine Gun Preacher, its title character has become a cartoon.
50
Gerard Butler, who's honed his screen persona as a brutish, charismatic jerk, isn't a bad fit for the role of Sam, even if he's more believable spraying bullets and stabbing hitchhikers than he is delivering a sermon.
50
He seems fueled more by anger and ego than spirituality and essentially abandons his family to play with his guns. It's intriguing, however, how well Butler enlists our sympathy for the character.
40
The result is far too high-and-mighty to truly be moving.
38
Machine Gun Preacher has a lot more wrong with it than a bullet-riddled premise. It is yet another iteration of the big, strong white man who comes to save legions of poor anonymous black Africans.
30
The failure lies not with the film's director, Marc Forster, nor with its impressive star, Gerard Butler, but with Jason Keller's dreadfully earnest script, which charts the hero's spiritual journey, and his Rambo-esque exploits, without offering a scintilla of mature perspective on his state of mind.
25
The title, Machine Gun Preacher, makes it sound like a piece of grindhouse kitsch - and by the time it's over, you'll be thinking, ''If only!''

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