You just have to admire someone who takes radical steps to live out their faith. Machine Gun Preacher is based on the story of Sam Childers, a low-life biker ex-con who was radically saved from a life of crime and drugs. Inspired by a guest preacher at his church, Sam, as a new, zealous Christian, traveled to Africa to help with a mission construction project. While there, he visited the war zone of southern Sudan, and had a first-hand encounter with the senseless brutality of the Lord's Resistance Army. He dedicated his life to rescuing children from these heartless criminals, opening an orphanage in Sudan.
I was inspired by Machine Gun Preacher. In many ways, it is an evangelistic film. We see Childers's drastic transformation and his living out his faith. The other Christians in the film are portrayed respectfully (although church was a little on the cheesy side). We celebrate with Childers in his baptism, share his struggles as he lives out his faith and tries to convince others to join his vision, and cringe (maybe with painful recognition) as he has some failures. This is a very Christian movie, but the portrayal of sin will bother some. The language and violence is definitely rated R. Although we learn that Childers's wife was a stripper before she got saved, there are no scenes of nudity.
Inspiration, action, conviction, controversy, and challenging questions about the use of violence to good ends. A nice mix for a movie!
Bottom line, 3 stars.
For more about Sam Childers and his ministry, see: http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/