Machine Gun Preacher
|Machine Gun Preacher|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Marc Forster|
|Produced by||Robbie Brenner
|Written by||Jason Keller|
|Music by||Asche & Spencer|
|Edited by||Matt Chesse|
|Distributed by||Relativity Media (North America)
|Language||English and French|
Machine Gun Preacher is an action biopic about Sam Childers, a former gang biker turned preacher and defender of African orphans. The movie, released in 2011 by Relativity Media, was based on Childers' book Another Man's War. It was written by Jason Keller, directed by Marc Forster, and stars Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon.
The film tells the story of Childers and his efforts to save the children of South Sudan in collaboration with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) against the atrocities of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
Although the film centers on Childers, it starts off with a scene in South Sudan, where the LRA are attacking a village. This opening scene is placed into context later in the film. Childers was an alcoholic drug-using biker from Pennsylvania. On his release from prison, he finds that his wife has given up her job as a stripper, because she has since become a Christian. Eventually, after he almost kills a vagrant the night before, his wife persuades him to go to church with her, where he is eventually converted.
Later, on a missionary trip to Uganda to build homes for refugees, he asks one of the SPLA soldiers watching over them to take him on a trip to the north, to Sudan. The soldier warns him that it is a war zone, but upon Sam's insistence they go. They arrive at a medical tent in Sudan. As his friend moves off to talk came in to some people, Sam is roped in by a redheaded female doctor to help lift a lipless Sudanese woman onto the examination table. That night as they lay on their beds at the relief station, they hear noises outside, when they look out Sam and the soldier see large numbers of Sudanese children swarming in to sleep outside the building.
The soldier explains that their parents send them to sleep over there because it is safer than staying in their own village. Sam wakes up the children and gets them to sleep in their room for the night. The next day they follow the children back to their village only to find that the LRA burnt it down and killed their parents. One of the children runs after his dog and is killed by a hidden landmine. Sam then decides to build an orphanage for the children of South Sudan. After the orphanage is built, the LRA attack it under cover of night and burn it to the ground. Sam then phones home, telling his wife what happened and that he is giving up. She reminds him that the orphans have been through worse but they have not given up, and that he should not give up and tells him to rebuild the orphanage.
One night after the orphanage has been rebuilt, he and his friends from the SPLA are attacked on the road by the LRA, they manage to chase off the small force of the LRA that attacked them. They search the area and discover a large group of Sudanese children hiding in a ditch not far from the road. Since they can not take all the children in one trip, Sam chooses to take the ones who need medical attention along with a few others on their first trip back to the ophanage. However, upon returning to the spot as quickly as he could, he finds that the LRA burnt those he had left behind. This causes Childers to lead armed raids to rescue children from the LRA.
The end credits include black and white pictures of the real Sam Childers, his wife, and his daughter, plus his orphanage in Sudan. The pictures are followed by a short black and white home video clip of Sam talking about his work, while the credits roll on the left side of the screen.
- Gerard Butler as Sam Childers
- Michelle Monaghan as Lynn Childers
- Michael Shannon as Donnie
- Madeline Carroll as Paige
- Kathy Baker as Daisy
- Souléymane Sy Savané as Deng
- Rhema Marvanne as Rik Oskam
Sam Childers has shown a shortened and edited version of the film at Christian charity events.[original research?]
The film received mainly negative reviews and has a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 111 reviews with an average rating of 4.9 out of 10 with the consensus being "There's a complex man at the center of Machine Gun Preacher but the movie is too shapeless and emotionally vacant to bring his story to life." The film also has a score of 43 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 32 reviews.
Machine Gun Preacher was also a major box office failure. Produced on a budget of $30 million, it made only $3,338,690 worldwide.
Awards and nominations
|Date of ceremony||Award||Category||Recipient(s)||Result|
|January 15, 2012||
||Best Original Song||Chris Cornell||Nominated|
- "TOLDJA! Relativity Taking Over Distribution Of 'Machine Gun Preacher' From Lionsgate; Release Date Set For Sept. 23". Deadline.com. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- "Machine Gun Preacher - review". London Evening Standard. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Machine Gun Preacher: review". The Telegraph. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Fleming, Mike (2010-05-07). "Gerard Butler's 'Machine Gun Preacher' Locks Start Date And Co-Stars". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
- "Machine Gun Preacher–Locations (IMDB)". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- Evans, Ian (2011), "Machine Gun Preacher premiere photos", DigitalHit.com, retrieved 2012-03-20
- "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- "Metacritic". Retrieved 21 Feb 2013.
- George, Kat (6 January 2012). "Tuned In: Chris Cornell Is The Keeper On Leno". VH1. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- Official website
- Machine Gun Preacher at the Internet Movie Database
- Machine Gun Preacher at Rotten Tomatoes
- Machine Gun Preacher at ComingSoon.net
- Interview: The Real Story Behind 'Machine Gun Preacher from CriticizeThis.ca