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Machine Gun Preacher

4.3 out of 5 stars 996 customer reviews

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(Jun 05, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Machine Gun Preacher is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers; a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. Gerard Butler delivers a searing performance as Childers; the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster's moving story of violence and redemption. When ex-biker-gang member Sam Childers (Butler) makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war; he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region's vulnerable populace; especially the children. Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers; Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it's most needed in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA); a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens. But for Sam; it is not enough to shelter the LRA's intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible; he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children; restoring peace to their lives and eventually his own. The explosive; real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation; disease and enslavement; Machine Gun Preacher also stars Michelle Monaghan and Kathy Baker.

Machine Gun Preacher takes a fictionalized look at the life of Sam Childers, a down-and-out ex-con who found God and an obsessed new calling: to save the orphaned children of southern Sudan. Gerard Butler plays Childers, whom we first meet as a brutish addict, and the actor's gutsy performance has everything to do with making us follow him through the film's winding, globe-spanning turns. Whether delivering an overheated sermon (you get the idea Childers has replaced one addiction with another) or toting firearms through the dangerous back roads of Africa, Butler presents a forceful creation, one that reminds us that Childers is far from a conventional sympathetic hero. In fact, director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) is so busy exploring the psychological ambiguities of the character he neglects to give the movie a basic, driving momentum, which might make you wonder what exactly it is you're watching from time to time: inspirational religious fable, action picture, or political drama? Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) does duty as Sam's born-again wife, who must endure the usual domestic hardships related to her husband's frequent absences from home, and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) plays Sam's old biker buddy, reformed to become the world's worst babysitter. In bringing up the horror stories of warfare and atrocity in southern Sudan, the movie has noble ambitions, and its R-rated nature means it doesn't skimp on the terrible details. Still, it tends to fall a little too easily into the format of the white guy saving the African people, an example of the way the movie's various subjects seem, overall, a little undigested. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan
  • Directors: Marc Forster
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Relativity Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (996 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,738 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Machine Gun Preacher" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've read the book and seen the movie. The book will keep you awake at night and the movie will leave you breathless. It's one thing to read the words because you have to rely on your imagination to form the images from the author's words. Seeing those words accurately portrayed on the screen is incredible.

This is, bar none, Gerard Butler's crowning performance. Sam Childers pulled no punches about himself in the book and Butler truly brought the man to life on the screen. He isn't just an actor playing a part; in this movie it's almost as if he *becomes* Childers. The scene where he returns to retrieve the children he had to leave behind is, IMO, mindblowing. The scene in which he confronts and overcomes his crisis of faith is moving in the extreme.

I won't minimize: This story, in the book and on the screen, is horribly disturbing, and I can't stress that enough. However, it is incredibly powerful, thought-provoking, complex and heart-rending. Once you've seen this movie, you definitely won't forget it.

Honestly, I'd give it ten stars without hesitation...
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Format: Blu-ray
I've seen the film 6 times in 6 different places all across the country, and I saw it with Sam Childers the first time he saw it. It's an amazing story about a nearly unbelievable journey by a man who went from crazy bad to crazy good, 'cos it takes a little crazy to do what he'd done as a young man and what he's done in Africa over the past decade. Fortunately there is less confrontation with the LRA in the area where the Shekinah Children's Village is near Nimule, South Sudan; and Sam Childers is spreading his feeding programs wider across central and east Africa where they're needed so badly, like in Somalia and Darfur. The book Another Man's War, the feature film Machine Gun Preacher and the upcoming documentary film will touch your heart in some fashion. Gerard Butler does a terrific job portraying both the old and new Sam. The Machine Gun Preacher DVD will be my gift for Christmases and birthdays for the next several years.
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Format: DVD
I just finished watching this movie a couple hours ago and am still a little shaken by it. Gerard Butler's portrayal and this story are somewhat beyond description. His acting is top notch and the story is as well.

It shows how the real-life Sam Childers goes from a psychotic motorcycle thug to a tried and true freedom fighter for the children in southern Sudan and northern Uganda. It shows his transformation through his new found faith in the Christian religion and the unending support that he receives from his loving wife, daughter, and mother. He goes from robbing crack houses to building up his own successful construction company.He's then inspired by a missionary to go to Africa to "help". After his return, he's inspired to do more. He then builds his own church in order to support an orphanage in Sudan.

In the beginning, everything goes really well until ... you know, it doesn't. Then his faith in everything that he believes in is tested. Part of his "test" comes when his best friend kills himself after Sam hurts him during a heated argument. Sam goes into a very emotionally dark place where you think that he might become the monster that he was and is now trying to fight in Africa. He's then reenergized by the love and support that he receives from his African friends and the children at the orphanage he runs.

While watching this movie you'll go through every extreme of emotion from joy to dread. Just watching how this guy, by all rights should be dead of Anytown, Pennsylvania, fights for these kids that no one in the world cares about. It makes you wonder that if he can do this with minimal support, what the hell is the UN doing in Africa?

This movie was truly inspiring and thought provoking. This is NOT a hoaky, tear jerker, Hollywoodified construct. Watching it will be well worth your time.
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Format: Blu-ray
I feel very fortunate to be one of the few people who was able to see Machine Gun Preacher in the theater, since it was not shown in very many places!! (For some UNEXPLAINED reason!?!) It was an EXCELLENT movie........very moving, POWERFUL, thought-provoking, and well-acted by everyone.....especially Gerard Butler! He absolutely nailed the character of Sam Childers. He was not a very likeable person in the beginning, as he was just plain no-good....into drugs, crime, etc. After a missionary trip to Africa, his whole focus changed into wanting to save the children from the LRA. It was an AMAZING transformation and one that really should be shared. Although it does have parts that are sad to watch, it IS based on a true story and it does make people aware of the unimaginable atrocities that still occur around the world! I can't wait until it comes out on DVD so that I can watch it again!!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm giving 5 stars to the trailer. The trailer advertised limited release. All the money spent to produce this film and then limited release? I live in the country in Texas. I will have to wait and buy the movie to see it. I read the book the movie was based on and then bought more books to share with friends.

I saw a review that said the movie under performed. Of course it would under perform on limited release! Then we're stuck with the garbage Hollywood puts out the rest of the year. Maybe it's just because the word Preacher is in the title.

Frustrated with Hollywood!
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