Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Boxoffice Magazine
The exploitation title may not do it any favors, but this biopic based on the incredible life journey of Sam Childers is gripping, inspirational and well told.
Machine Gun Preacher is stirring when it presents Childers as a hero, but it does its most impressive work when it addresses him as a flawed, struggling, but still determined man.
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."
Village Voice
Machine Gun Preacher is the umpteenth onscreen iteration of a white savior aiding the most desperate in Africa.
Slant Magazine
Marc Forster regards the real-life Childers's evolution from heroin-addicted, wife-beating (implied), gun-toting oblivion to born-again do-gooderism with motorized aloofness.
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.
The action scenes in Machine Gun Preacher work fine on their own, but they cheapen a work that attempts to command great importance.
While the result is yet another story of African suffering told from a white do-gooder's perspective, this particular do-gooder is intrinsically fascinating enough to warrant attention, albeit more nuanced attention than he receives here.
Childers's varied, charitable life story warrants a movie, but whether that means it's okay to simply mash up sappy Christian piety and action-movie chaos is highly debatable.
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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