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Machine Gun Preacher
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Reviews & Ratings for
Machine Gun Preacher More at IMDbPro »

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108 out of 129 people found the following review useful:

Powerful, graphic, unsettling movie with a profound message of hope and human courage shown in adversity

Author: James Lamont (jameslamont) from London, England
2 November 2011

I went into this movie with no expectations. The title made it seem like it would be a typical action movie; all guns and brawn and little in the way of storyline but boy was I wrong. This movie, based on a true story, was powerful and touched me so much that it has prompted me to write my first film review on IMDb in over six years! This is a movie with a solid pedigree of cast behind it, it is based on the life of Sam Childers (Gerard Butler), who without giving much away, has a criminal past, finds God and embarks on undertaking missionary work in civil war-torn Sudan, leaving his loyal, loving wife Lynn Childers (Michelle Monaghan) and his young daughter Paige (Madeline Carrol) back home in Penslyvania. This movie follows Sam's juggling how his Christian faith inspires him at home and also in Sudan.

Gerard Butler has always been something of an enigma to me. In my opinion he can be hit and miss as an actor, but in this movie he gives a powerhouse performance as the emotionally conflicted and stunted Sam Cilders, someone who follows his faith and shows simple, sometimes primal humanity in inhumane foreign environments. I think this is Gerard Butlers best performance to date, he expertly immerses himself into Sam , he is so believable in this role, both emotionally, mentally and physically. The audience may find it hard to remember it is just a movie at some stages. Michael Shannon is amazing a Sam's childhood friend Donnie, a troubled soul who is another person loyal to Sam but ultimately flawed.

This is not a movie I feel will get the awards it richly deserves. Similar in tone to Hotel Rwanda, it is an inspiring story but with a sobering message. It reminded me a lot of Hotel Rwanda because it showed how one man alone with enough faith in simple humanity can make a difference. Sam Childers is not a saint; far from it, he is flawed and he has a violent and criminal side and this is evident in the movie. However he is also shown as having humanity and the fact that he decides to make a stand and do something away from the comfort of his armchair in America is testament to his character. Would the audience have the courage to do what Sam did? That is a question facing the audience as they leave the movie, along with the graphic images which will haunt the audience for a long time after seeing the movie.

There are so many powerful moments in this movie that it is hard to pin point any without spoiling the plot. This is not a movie that you should take a date along to; or anyone who is squeamish or unsettled by blood and guts. This is a movie that takes the audience in the palm of their hands and opens their eyes to the blunt reality and the truth of genocide. It is similar in that way to Hotel Rwanda but I found this movie even more graphic and unsettling in many ways. This is a movie you should watch at all costs although you may not want to see it again. It is hard hitting, powerful, emotional but most of all thought provoking.

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95 out of 133 people found the following review useful:

An amazing story.. An amazing movie!!!

10/10
Author: yude201119
9 November 2011

I saw this movie and was simply left speechless. It was amazing!! The story of Sam Childers is amazing. It really makes you think and wonder how can one person have so much willpower and stamina to keep doing what he has been doing all these years for these children. I was shocked by what the LRA has been doing to these children but unfortunately this is the truth and history keeps repeating itself especially in African countries. I have lived in Africa for many years and seeing somebody doing something about these atrocities does mean a lot (even though he is a "white savior"). If this is what it takes, so be it. Let's not denigrate it as I have seen so many do in their reviews. It is a very moving story and although it is extremely violent at times (let us not forget this is a true story and these things happened), it can be very touching and emotional. Gerard Butler's performance is Oscar worthy and Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon were also great even though their roles were short but then again the story is about Sam Childers. However, what I would really like to know is why some of the critics trashed this movie?? !! Most of the people who saw it found it excellent as I did. And why was it not widely distributed??? I think people should see this movie and be more awake and aware!! Was it too controversial for some?? It leaves me wondering !!!

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87 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

Had to travel to Denver to see it, but it was worth it.

10/10
Author: Burma Reed Powell from Winston-Salem, NC
31 October 2011

The interesting observation after viewing this film at the historic Mayan Theater in downtown Denver was that every female was crying by the end and the men were poker-faced. Also of interest is that the negative reviews, which are often unnecessarily unkind to Gerard Butler, and unhelpful to the reader, often seem to have been posted by males. Sure, women around the world are crazy about Gerard Butler, but come on, this was an astounding performance about the life of an awe-inspiring man. If you didn't like the film, walked out, or wanted to punch Mr. Butler in the face, then donate the cost of your ticket to Angels of East Africa. My final comment is that Mr. Butler produced this film because it wouldn't have been made otherwise. This is a story that had to be told and he didn't accept his normal fee for his performance; in fact, although I obviously can't confirm it, I heard that he accepted a fraction of a fraction of his normal fee.

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72 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

WOAH! Incredible in every manner

10/10
Author: Anton Petrov from Canada
29 February 2012

This film deserves a MUCH higher score. It's one of the best movies I've seen in years.

Very well developed characters and storyline and amazing acting/plot.

I was a little upset in the beginning and thought the movie will turn out to be cheesy, but it really takes hold on you after a few initial disappointments and doesn't let go until the end.

Buttler fits the unstable "born again, dead again" character extremely well and delivers an extremely believable performance.

What really makes this movie stand out is its non-stop change of pace. It goes from slow and peaceful to hardcore Rambo action, but does so in a very creative way.

Definitely a must see and definitely a masterpiece!

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76 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

Heart Wrenching and Poignant

10/10
Author: angeltriggs from Los Angeles CA
21 September 2011

I saw a screening last night at the DGA, and wasn't prepared for what I was about to witness. I was in tears several times during the film. It was something that will stick with me forever. I think the fact that this was a true story made it even more powerful.

The whole cast was really wonderful, but Michelle Monaghan stands out in my mind. That girl is a true talent, and hearing her speak after the movie made me realize how invested she is, not only in the film part of the project, but in the charity with Sam Childers as well. Such impressive work, both in front of and behind the camera.

The movie made me want to help. It made me angry that our military, government, and governments across the planet have neglected these people.

I am still reeling from seeing this. Brilliant, moving, and absolutely gut wrenching.

Did someone say Oscar?

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54 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

A very touchy movie

6/10
Author: annliebe from United States
21 September 2011

"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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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic but Unfortunately not Well Known Biography

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
21 April 2012

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the addicted gang biker Sam Childers (Gerard Butler) is released from prison and learns that his wife Lynn Childers (Michelle Monaghan) is no longer a striper and has converted to Christianity. One night, Sam and his best friend Donnie (Michael Shannon) give a ride to a hitchhiker that threatens Donnie with a pocketknife; however Sam reacts and stabs the stranger and dumps him on the road.

Sam is affected by the incident and is convinced by Lynn and his mother Daisy (Kathy Baker) to join their church and he is baptized. Sam finds a straight job in construction. He is well succeeded and 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.

"Machine Gun Preacher" is a film tailored to Gerard Buttler about the fantastic but unfortunately not well known biography of Sam Childers, an addicted troublemaker drug-dealer biker that changes totally his life and becomes the only hope for thousand of orphans in Africa.

The story and the screenplay are engaging with a perfect combination of drama and action. The only thing that irritates me is douchbags that write that this film like is a Christian propaganda. This is a true story and can be found everywhere in Internet and has nothing to do with propaganda, but reality and redemption. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Redenção" ("Redemption")

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37 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

machine gun

9/10
Author: Berry Kee from Germany
2 March 2012

I m not a usual review writer of any kind but i especially register for IMDb to write about this movie. After watching the movie and checking the IMDb rate i must say it is highly underestimated and i was forced to make a statement.

i would recommend this movie. it leaves you thinking not only about the characters itself but also about the issue of the movie. I myself spend hours of researching about the problems which are shown in the movie.

i find the characters very appealing although at some point i thought it could be portrayed better than it was actually done.

Overall it is a really good movie and worth a watch.

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72 out of 130 people found the following review useful:

masterpiece

10/10
Author: ana b from Canada
23 October 2011

This story touch my hart and soul! Even after couple of days after watching movie i still feel movement that this story caused in me;it is strong and powerful and it will change your life view forever! It made me appreciate more my life and my environment,not to mention enormous wish and need to help anyone who is in this kind of horror!

You will have to prepare yourself for a very horrifying story! You will not forget this movie for a long time! Hopefully this movie will go bigger and beyond - and it will help and assist in fight against this terror!!!

This movie deserves an Oscar!!!!!

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30 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Incredible

10/10
Author: Hayley Meadows from United Kingdom
15 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film I saw was not the film I was expecting.

I spent half the film in tears, it was emotional, heart breaking and one of the best films I have seen.

The life changing story of Sam is one of inspiration that I will never forget.

Totally amazing and one that was told well and had to be told.

The journey his wife and child take with him and without him shows strength and courage, it can't be easy to deal with your husband/father constantly gone yet they manage to do it, live through it and remain strong.

The hope Sam gives to those children is something that can never be forgotten.

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