Machine Gun Preacher

Machine Gun Preacher Information

Machine Gun Preacher is a 2011 biographical adventure drama film about Sam Childers, a former gang biker turned preacher and defender of South Sudanese orphans. The movie 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 accepted Christ as her savior. One night he almost kills a vagrant. However, the day after that night, his wife persuades him to go to church with her, where he is eventually baptized and offered salvation.

He finds a stable job as a construction worker and later starts his own construction gig. 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 the soldier moved off to talk to some people, Sam is roped in by a 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, and 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 as many as he can 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 orphanage. However, upon returning to the spot as quickly as he could, he finds that the LRA killed and burnt those he had left behind. This causes Childers to lead armed raids to rescue children from the LRA.

He returns home disgruntled and exasperated about the lack of money for the project. Meanwhile his friend Donnie dies, this pushes him further into negativity. He sells his business and boards plane for Sudan. His faith and mission revitalises when an orphan boy shares his personal story. The boy tells if Sam allows hatred fester in heart, his fight against injustice fails. Sam rekindles his emotional attachment with his family over phone. Next day he involves with the camp actively. Later he goes out with SPLA and rescues a caravan full of children kidnapped by LRA. The end credits include black and white pictures of the real Sam Childers, his wife, daughter, and 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
  • Soulymane Sy Savan as Deng
  • Rhema Marvanne as Rik Oskam
  • Mandalynn Carlson as Paige's Friend


Filming commenced in June 2010 in Michigan. The film had a gala premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2011 and limited release on September 23, 2011.

Sam Childers has shown a shortened and edited version of the film at Christian charity events.


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 29% of 111 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 4.9 out of 10. The site's consensus is: "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 has a score of 43 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 32 reviews.

Machine Gun Preacher was produced on a budget of $30 million and made $3,338,690 worldwide.

Awards and nominations

Date of ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) Result
January 15, 2012
Golden Globe Awards
Best Original Song Chris Cornell

See also

  • White savior narrative in film
  • In a better world (2010 film)

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Machine_Gun_Preacher" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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