User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35

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  1. Oct 8, 2011
    10
    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
  2. Oct 13, 2011
    8
    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
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  3. Aug 3, 2012
    3
    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! Expand
  4. Oct 3, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is an amazing real life story. I found it inspirational how the main character "Sam Childers" changed his life from from a drug addict thug to putting his life on the line to help the orphan kids in Southern Sudan. I like his realism after his conversion. I believe the way he channeled his fearlessness from something dark into something great challenges the audience to greater potential as well. Expand
  5. Jul 10, 2013
    7
    Machine Gun Preacher was a fantastic movie with a plot that almost felt like a modern day version of Schindler's List. Now don't get me wrong. In no way am I saying that this film was anywhere near that level. I'm just saying that some of the emotions were similar due to the similarly tragic nature of the true stories they tell. Gerard Butler leads a cast that provide great acting throughout the film and deliver on those emotions. The plot develops well and the reality of the story adds an additional layer of depth. The action sequences were a little weak and unfortunately the movie leans a little too heavily on those scenes. The constant varying perspectives makes you think and the drama is effective. I think the ending felt a bit rushed and the film lacked that climactic emotional sequence that sticks with you but overall, I think most people would really enjoy this movie. Expand
  6. Mar 27, 2012
    10
    "MACHINE GUN PREACHER" - A very powerful movie. My question is: how many modern American Preachers would actually teach in support of the efforts of San Childers and how many would condemn his methods? This R-rated film is a gritty and realistic portrayal of the unimaginable brutality still going on in the Sudan. My favorite aspect of this film was that it showed the deep flaws and humanity of Childers, his struggles, doubts and anger.

    My hat is off to Relativity Media and the other production companies for their courage in bringing this movie to us. Stars Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker, Michael Shannon, Madeline Carroll, Souleymane Sy Savane and the rest really put it on the line here!

    Too often "christian: films paint an unbelievable picture of the faith process and the way God works in this world. It would be very hard for me to imagine any American church showing this movie to its congregations, but church leaders themselves, at least, need to watch and deal with these realities. How do we reconcile God of the Old Testament with God in the New Testament? Did David have Bible study with Goliath? Was not King Saul commanded by God to wipe out nations? How does this "fit" with the Gospel of peace Jesus preached? We know "the Lord our God is one God" and that He is immutable (never-changing). The concept of Dispensations only shallowly addresses this topic. Preachers: let's hear it!
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  7. Jul 31, 2012
    9
    The movie is amazing, on the whole. The beginning is a bit hard to bear, as it's *extremely* vulgar and painful. Although, it is an good representation of what Sam Childers' life used to be like. The accuracy of what is going on over in Africa is heart wrenching and makes you want to go over to help them yourself. And watching the development of Sam is interesting and will have you feeling for him. Expand
  8. Dec 8, 2013
    1
    There is in fact an incredible story to be told of Childers' life and of his mission to help children in Sudan. Unfortunately, Machine Gun Preacher is not an incredible film but rather one lacking the emotional pull needed to adequately reflect the work Childers has done on behalf of so many who are completely unable to help themselves.
  9. Mar 21, 2013
    9
    Gritty, gray life. And some red too. The movie wades from deep, murky pond to deep, murky pond. It isn't your typical formulaic, black/white entertainment where the good guys save the day and everything works out. Reality isn't like that. Sometimes sacrifices (even big, soul-wrenching sacrifices) have to happen. Sometimes you have to beg and plead for help from people who will never understand because they are so far removed from you. Can you imagine trying to live these two lives in the movie? I don't mean biker and Christian, or even AKs and Christian. I mean Sudan and America. One week you're with kids who are happy to have food, health, and a ball to kick and the next your wife and daughter think you don't love them if you say 'No" to a limo for the prom. I'm guessing all these talking about whether or not Gerald Butler was a good fit for the role and "white savior tropes" didn't relate to the film. Which is a shame. It is so powerful and shines a bright light on the West's spoiled, self-centered society if you're willing to look. I only wish they had used a different title. Expand
  10. Apr 9, 2013
    10
    I don't see how this movie is rated so low, this movie was amazing yet sad and touching at the same time. Gerald Butler was a great actor chosen for this movie. This movie is actually a true story, they are still alive to this day. It's so hard to see good true movies now-a-days.
  11. Aug 5, 2014
    10
    This story held me glued to the screen from the very beginning. I was touched deeply by Sam Childers' heroic efforts. At least he is trying to make a difference. It only takes a spark to get a fire burning. Bravo for Sam, who stands up for what he believes is right. This movie definitely inspired me to think about what is really important. Saving children and helping the needy should be our primary focus, but unfortunately in our society, its all about taking care of numeral Uno. I loved this movie, and I'm proud of the fact that it is based on actual events. We need more inspiring characters and movies like this. Expand
Metascore
43

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: David Hughes
    Oct 31, 2011
    60
    It's gratifying to see Butler giving a proper acting role the old college try. Despite his best efforts, Forster's film, while pulling no punches, still somehow manages to miss the mark.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 12, 2011
    50
    The movie never convinces us that Forster is convinced himself. The director lines up this bad good man in his sights, but he never quite has the nerve quite to pull the trigger.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 7, 2011
    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.