Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 32
  2. Negative: 7 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 29, 2011
    The events of the movie may be a little bit true, or a lot, but hardly any of it plays that way.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 23, 2011
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 23, 2011
    In Machine Gun Preacher, Gerard Butler says, "I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of that hurt a lot of people." But enough about "The Bounty Hunter," "The Ugly Truth" and "P.S. I Love You."
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Sep 22, 2011
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 5, 2011
    Machine Gun Preacher comes alive only when Sam is pulling a trigger, which is most of the second hour. You can find the same thrill from watching a grindhouse descendant like "The Expendables" on cable TV.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Sep 29, 2011
    It gets the bullet points of Sam Childers's life, but misses the target.
  7. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Sep 21, 2011
    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!''
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    I am not sure why this movie is rated so low. Absolutely incredible. very moving and varying degrees of emotion. I would call this a must see! Dont be fooled by the low ratings Full Review »
  2. Aug 3, 2012
    I found this movie very "preachy" and honestly boring. It picks up in the second half, but the first half is so dreadful, why bother? I thought Gerard Butler did a fine job with what he was given, but what he was given was a shallow cartoonish character, who is not only rather uninteresting but unlikable to boot. If you are interested in Africa or the atrocities that have and continue to go on over there, due yourself a favor and find a documentary or other film to satiate your appetite! Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2011
    In his best performance yet, Gerard Butler plays a troubled, complex guy who leaves his life of crime for God and becomes a real life hero in Sudan. Machine Gun Preacher is violent and, at times, hard to watch, but the story is inspirational and puts the spotlight on an ordinary man doing extraordinary things. But he is far from subtle and chooses to use a gun to get them done. The film can certainly be upsetting, especially when you see how kids in Sudan are treated and what happens if they disobey. But no matter how gruesome some parts may be, Machine Gun Preacher only shows the audience the brutal truth and the cause that Sam Childers is fighting for.

    Based on a true story and directed by Marc Forster (Monsterâ
    Full Review »