Box art for Machine Gun Preacher

Machine Gun Preacher

  • Rated R
  • HD and SD formats available

drama


Machine Gun Preacher tells the inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds his unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    29%
  • Audience Score
    63%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Gruesome redemption tale made tedious by oversimplification.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fact-based drama set mostly in war-torn Sudan includes several combat sequences and some especially gruesome images featuring torture victims. The main character (played by Gerard Butler) transforms from a biker-gang thug into a religious man over the course of the movie. He also swears constantly ("f--k," "c--ksucker," etc.), drinks heavily, and, in the beginning, shoots heroin. It's an inspiring story, though not a pretty one.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Sam's story. What do you think about his transformation over the course of the story? Does the movie make more of an impact because it's based on a real person's life?
  • What is the movie's message about violence? How does Sam's decision to join in the warfare affect this message? What, if anything, did you learn about the political situation of Sudan in the real world?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Real life stories make for some very good films. Now I've had reservations about seeing Machine Gun Preacher due to the fact that Gerard Butler has made a few duds over the last few years, and his last good films were Gamer and Law Abiding Citizen. For Machine Gun Preacher, Butler goes back to a more serious role as Sam Childers. The film focuses on Childers life and how he went from a criminal to someone trying to find salvation by helping others in need. Childers went to Sudan to help children that were orphaned due to civil war. Although not a flawless film, Machine Gun Preacher is a worthwhile film that is in my opinion quite underrated. Gerard Butler delivers a strong and powerful performance that is quite possibly the best of his career. The film is a mix of action and drama, and director Marc Forster does a good job with the material to capture Childers's life, but considering that he had such a unique life, the film could have been a bit better as well. In terms of a good biopic, this tells a compelling story and it is well acted. Butler redeems himself with this role due to the fact that he played in a few boring and unimpressive chick flicks. I very much enjoyed the film, but there were a few areas where the film could have been better. However there are enough good elements to make this one worth seeing. The film is very good, and is quite eye opening as well. As a whole, it is a flawed film but it is a well executed action drama that delivers something memorable.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, January 27, 2013

3 stars

Somewhat in the veins of Blood Diamond, this one fared well enough for me, though not as good as Blood Diamond. The cast gave excellent performance, and the execution was good enough to restrain it from becoming too preachy. Being too loud, I didn't like the Hallelujah parts.

- imrealgod, Thursday, June 6, 2013

2 stars

A decent film based on the life of Sam Childers. A good performance from Butler playing Sam who seems to hit rock bottom, rises up when he finds God and has plenty more ups and downs at home and in Africa as he tries to help the children of Sudan.

- Deano78, Sunday, August 12, 2012