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Machine Gun Preacher is a 2011 biographical action drama film directed by Marc Forster, starring Gerard Butler as Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker who becomes a born-again Christian and dedicates his life to assisting children affected by the civil war in South Sudan. The movie is based on Sam Childers' memoir Another Man's War.
The movie tells the story of Sam Childers' transformation from a violent criminal to a man of God. The opening scenes depict Childers' hard-living, drug-addicted, and violent lifestyle in Pennsylvania. The film then moves to South Sudan, where Childers travels as part of a missionary trip to help rebuild homes destroyed by the civil war.
As Childers observes the severity of the civil war, he witnesses first-hand the brutal treatment of civilians, particularly children, at the hands of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony. Disturbed by the plight of the children left orphaned by the war, Childers decides to take matters into his own hands.
Sam's realization that the innocent children of Sudan need more than simple community infrastructure leads him to form Angels of East Africa, a mission that has saved thousands of children from hunger, disease and exploitation. Angels of East Africa provides homes, schools and medical care for children, along with vocational training for adults so they can learn to sustain themselves.
Childers' decision to stay in Sudan and dedicate his life to rescuing children from the LRA causes division with his wife, Lynn (Michelle Monaghan), and daughter Paige (Madeline Carroll). This puts a strain on his marriage, but Childers remains committed to his cause, even when the danger becomes life-threatening.
The movie depicts the brutality of the LRA, who kidnap children, recruit them as child soldiers, and force them to commit unspeakable acts of violence. The scenes are intense, and the movie does not shy away from showing the horrors of the conflict.
As Childers begins to fight back against the LRA, the film becomes an action-packed thriller. The film shows Childers as a determined and fearless fighter, who takes on the LRA with guns, explosives and brains.
But the movie also shows the difficulties of his actions. Childers becomes so consumed with rescuing children from the LRA that he risks his life and the lives of those around him. He also becomes disillusioned with organized religion, as he feels that the church is not doing enough to help the children of Sudan.
The film's performances are excellent, with Gerard Butler delivering a powerful performance as the complex and fearless Sam Childers. Michael Shannon is excellent as Childers' best friend and former drug-dealing partner, whose tragic end motivates Childers' transformation. Michelle Monaghan gives a strong performance as Lynn, Childers' long-suffering wife.
The direction and cinematography are also excellent, with Forster capturing the raw beauty and devastation of South Sudan. The film's score, composed by Asche and Spencer, is haunting and powerful, adding to the emotional intensity of the film.
Machine Gun Preacher is a powerful and emotional film, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit. The film is a tribute to Sam Childers' dedication and commitment, but it is also a warning about the dangers of becoming consumed with a cause at the expense of everything else in oneâs life.
Machine Gun Preacher is a 2011 action movie. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 43.