Machine Gun Preacher | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 127 minutes · 2011

Biography, Drama
There's more machine gunning than preaching, but what did you expect? Directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), this watchable biopic tells the story of Sam Childers, a Pennsylvania biker who found Jesus and, during a missionary trip to Africa, became obsessed with rescuing Sudanese children orphaned and conscripted by the savage Lord's Resistance Army. He's a fascinating character (even in the person of Gerard Butler), but his conversion from drug-crazed bruiser to psalm-singing family man is so swift and unconvincing that the movie is hobbled from the start. It becomes more engrossing once Childers finds his mission in Africa and begins gunning down LRA insurgents, at which point you begin to wonder whether his faith was ever anything more than a righteous outlet for his violence. But the filmmakers would never dare make this idea explicit; all they're after is a shit-kicking dashboard saint. With Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker, and Michael Shannon.
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Director: Marc Forster
Producer: Robbie Brenner, Gary Safady, Deborah Giarratana, Craig Chapman, Marc Forster, Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Michael Corso, Kyle Jackson, Myles Nestel, Louise Rosner, Adi Shankar, Spencer Silna and Bradford Simpson
Cast: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Kathy Baker, Souléymane Savané, Madeline Carroll and Ryann Campos

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