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Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

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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.

Director:

Marc Forster

Writer:

Jason Keller
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gerard Butler ... Sam Childers
Michelle Monaghan ... Lynn Childers
Kathy Baker ... Daisy
Michael Shannon ... Donnie
Ryann Campos Ryann Campos ... Paige #1
Madeline Carroll ... Paige #2
Souleymane Sy Savane ... Deng
Grant R. Krause Grant R. Krause ... Billy / Contractor (as Grant Krause)
Reavis Graham Reavis Graham ... Pastor Krause
Peter Carey ... Bill Wallace
Barbara Coven Barbara Coven ... Shannon Wallace
Misty Mills Misty Mills ... Biker Chick
Nicole Dupre Sobchack ... Bartender (as Nicole Sobchack)
Sidi Henderson ... Shaved Head
Mike Litaker 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Acholi

Release Date:

2 November 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El rescate See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,130, 25 September 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$538,690, 1 December 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,104,633, 12 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Sam Childers, on whom the story is based, 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

The film depicts Sam in the Allegheny County Jail, but he is wearing the uniform of a PA Department of Corrections (DOC) inmate. 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 »


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 »

User Reviews

Powerful, graphic, unsettling movie with a profound message of hope and human courage shown in adversity
2 November 2011 | by jameslamontSee all my reviews

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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