Machine Gun Preacher

Machine Gun Preacher

After renouncing his outlaw ways, Sam Childers embarks on a spiritual path, becoming a warrior for the desperate and helpless children in a war-torn country in Africa. 2.5 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
Machine Gun Preacher

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Drama
Director Marc Forster
Cast Michael Shannon, Michelle Monaghan, Madeline Carroll, Kathy Baker Gerard Butler
Studio Lionsgate Films
Release Date November 2011
Running Time 129 mins
 

After renouncing his outlaw ways, Sam Childers embarks on a spiritual path, becoming a warrior for the desperate and helpless children in a war-torn country in Africa.

Reviews

The Guardian

Catherine Shoard

Plot holes hobble the gloss; at least two gun battles abruptly end at what looked like a critical moment. At other times, you're wrong-footed more pleasantly: an encounter with a fragrant doctor doesn't resolve into cliche, and the ending is mature.

03/11/2011

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

If anything, watching the film is like attending an old-style Southern tent revival — you want to believe in the fight against all that fire and brimstone. Heck, you want to join the righteous brigade. But when the lights go up and the fever dies down, it feels more like you've witnessed a show than a real showdown with the devil.

23/09/2011

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Total Film

Andrew Lowry

Combatants are largely reduced to goodies and baddies, and a well-intentioned, well-made film wanders into the all-too-familiar white-guy-helpinghapless-Africans sub-genre.

31/10/2011

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Empire Magazine

David Hughes

To his credit, Gerard Butler throws everything he’s got into the role, and is never less than convincing. A more accomplished actor, however, might have helped the film transcend the limitations of the episodic and rather pedestrian screenplay. Instead, it’s up to Forster to deliver the goods, and he does so only sporadically.

31/10/2011

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

Don't leave before the final credits have rolled, [though]. Suddenly, we see cameo footage of the real Childers, firing a pump action shotgun. He's shorter, fatter, older and less handsome than Butler, of course - but he has great presence, nonetheless. Perhaps the film should have been a regular documentary, after all? Even though Gerard Butler would then have been robbed of his dream role.

04/11/2011

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

This vehicle for Gerard Butler certainly suffers a little too much from a desire to be taken seriously, when really it works better when it gives into its baser instincts and behaves more like an amped-up exploitation film.

04/11/2011

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

At the end of a movie like this one ... you are meant to feel exhilarated and inspired, newly aware of the plight of suffering people and awed by one man’s dedication to their cause. But if those feelings arrive in the wake of Machine Gun Preacher, it will in some ways be in spite of the movie, which turns a fascinating true story into a welter of action-movie attitudes and sentimental clichés.

22/09/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

It's rabble-rousing material...

06/11/2011

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

It’s a watchable tale, but flat from start to finish.

06/11/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

While [Butler's] film is clearly in awe of Childers as a person, it clearly can't make hide nor hair of him as a character.

02/11/2011

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Time Out

David Jenkins

Alas, Marc Forster’s film settles for balmy, ‘Cry Freedom’-style melodrama which refuses to take its slippery subject to task. And as storytelling, the need to cram in facts and events makes ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ feel too much like one large and needlessly glossy montage sequence.

01/11/2011

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The Times

Kate Muir

Those hoping for the fun shoot-out promised in the posters will have to cope with the mutilation and the mass killing of children in this peculiar hybrid.

04/11/2011

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The Financial Times

Raphael Abraham

Despite the most worthy intentions, Childers cannot single-handedly save Sudan and Butler cannot save this movie.

03/11/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Butler beefs up his status as one of cinema's most charmless leading men.

03/11/2011

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