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Machine Gun Preacher | 2011 | R | - 6.8.8

Based on a true story about a man (Gerard Butler) who reformed himself after coming out of prison and finding that his wife (Michelle Monaghan) has become religious. When he hears a visiting minister from Africa speak about their need for help, he decides to visit Sudan to see what's going on and after witnessing the horrors of the Sudanese civil war he builds an orphanage and tracks down and kills the men responsible for making their lives so miserable. Also with Michael Shannon, Souleymane Sy Savane, Madeline Carroll and Kathy Baker. Directed by Marc Forster. [2:07]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man and a woman have sex in a car: both are clothed while she thrusts on top of the man, who's seated in the front seat, and we hear her moaning until they climax.
 A woman is shown wearing panties and tank tops in several scenes (cleavage, bare shoulders and abdomen are visible). A woman wears a top that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman wears a short T-shirt that reveals her bare abdomen. A woman wears a tube top that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman wears a short skirt and a tank top that reveals cleavage, her bare shoulders and back and bare legs.
 A husband and his wife kiss, she rubs her hips and clothed buttocks against him, they continue to kiss, she wraps her legs around his waist and we hear her moaning; sex is implied (nothing more is shown). A husband and his wife kiss.
 A husband and his wife have a conversation about her giving up "stripping" because it is not right and the husband becomes angry.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A young boy chases a dog into a clearing, we hear a landmine explosion and a man finds the boy's remains -- he's missing his legs and we see the very bloody sumps. A woman is brought into a field hospital and we see that her lips have been cut off (we see her very bloody face and clothing and we see that her teeth are exposed); she quakes and moans. Several children are brought into a field hospital after they were ambushed and we see one young girl with a large, bloody gash on her chest and another with a bloody arm (we understand that they do not survive).
 Armed men raid huts where people are sleeping: women and children are pulled out and held at gunpoint, we hear gunfire and the huts are set on fire; a young boy is held with a knife against his cheek (we see there is blood from the cut) while being forced to kill his mother with a hammer (we hear the woman scream, but do not see the blow), although not clear it seems as though someone is slashed with a machete (we hear the sound of metal and a crunch as a man falls to the ground), and a man is shot in the back as his children watch.
 A driver stops to pick up a hitchhiker and the hitchhiker holds a knife to the driver's throat, but a passenger takes the knife away from the hitchhiker and stabs him in the abdomen numerous times (we hear crunching and yelling and moaning); the passenger then throws the injured man out of the car and leaves him for dead (we hear later that the man did not die).
 A truck carrying gunmen is blown up and it flips over, another truck filled with gunmen stops and gunfire is exchanged; we see several men struck, and one man is shown missing his leg at the knee (we see the bloody stump) and with a bloody head wound. A truck carrying armed men is shot at, it flips over and explodes, guns are fired back and forth by men and one man is shot in the back by a young boy (we see a bit of blood on his back as he falls). Two armed men walk toward two small children in a field, one man is shot and falls dead (we see blood on his wound), other men open fire on the shooter, the shooter is struck in the head (we see his body with a bloody head wound and blood on the ground next to him) and we see that he was a young boy. Humanitarian aid workers are cornered on a bridge by gunmen, one of the workers walks toward them explaining what they are doing, and a gunman strikes her in the face with his gun (she falls to the ground and we see a lot of blood on the ground next to her); other men open fire on the gunmen and we see them being struck and falling dead. A man stands over a wounded but still alive man and shoots him at point blank range.
 Several men return to an area where many children had been hiding and they find the children dead and in a pile (we see burned remains and charred flesh). The remains of a village are shown, with huts burned down and bodies strewn about; young children grieve for their parents that are dead on the ground (some with bloody wounds and others with charred flesh). We see numerous dead bodies being loaded onto a truck after a night raid (bloody wounds are evident on the bodies).
 Armed men shoot into a camp where many children are sleeping, other men shoot back at them, the children are gathered up and taken to safety while the men continue shooting back and forth and huts are blown up and burned (we see a few men being struck by bullets but blood is not clearly visible); one man is blown up when his grenade explodes in his hand (we only see dirt and shrapnel thrown). A dead man is shown in a coffin during a funeral service.
 A man with a gun shoots a door open, shoots inside a house while chasing a man upstairs, the man falls to the floor, and the gunman holds the gun on him and yells at him demanding drugs and money, which the victim hands over; the gunman then hits him in the face with the butt of the gun. A man with a gun breaks into a house, holds several men at gunpoint, and another man holds him at gunpoint and he says he wants to take a man with him (we see the man he came for and he's unconscious from drugs).
 We see several scenes that show young boys armed with guns and being forced to fight by men that yell at them and call them names. We see several scenes that show many children huddled and hiding inside a hole in the ground, or being transported in the back of trucks.
 A tornado blows through a trailer park, a man shoots a hole in the floor of his trailer, his wife and young daughter climb down into the hole just as a tree crashes through the side of the trailer, and the man lays across the hole in the floor until the storm passes (no one is harmed).
 A boy accidentally spills hot liquid on a man's arm and the man spins around and shoves the boy back into another man (no one is harmed). A husband yells at his wife, gets very close to her face and pounds on a cabinet that's behind her. A man yells at another man and shoves him. A man yells at his teenage daughter and she cries. A man yells at another man and shows him photographs of children that have been badly hurt (missing limbs, burns, etc.). A man yells at people in a church congregation.
 We see a man in a panic trying to get blood off his skin and clothing after stabbing another man. A woman looks disappointed when she sees a bloody mark on her husband's arm (she assumes it's from a drug injection) and he says that he gave blood. We see a field hospital with many injured and sick people and we understand that many of the people are sick from cholera and malaria; we see a child being treated for burns. We see a photograph of a child with his arm cut off at the elbow and learn that it was cut off by a man with a machete. We see a photograph of a young girl with a burn scar on her face. We see a dead man lying on the floor, he has three fresh needle marks in his arm and many empty beer bottles are strewn around him (it is not clear whether he died from an accidental overdose).
 A young boy talks about his parents having been killed during a raid and that he was forced to kill his mother. A man says, "My family was killed." People talk about Muslims killing Christians. There is mention of people becoming sick from cholera and malaria. A man says, "Death comes at night to the villages." People repeatedly say, "This is a war zone." A man tells another man that a gunman "is offering money for your head." A man tells another man that he thinks he has "a wish to die." We hear that a man died in a helicopter crash on the way to peace talks. We read that there have been 400,000 murders and 40,000 child abductions during this civil war and that the children are raped, tortured and sold into the sex trade.
 A man vomits in a toilet and we hear loud gagging and the splattering of vomit into the toilet.


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LANGUAGE 8 - About 39 F-words and its derivatives, 18 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 18 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory terms for Africans, name-calling (stupid, crack-head, crazy, wizard, Satan, cowards, stubborn, African Rambo), 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - We see a dead man lying on the floor, he has three fresh needle marks in his arm and many empty beer bottles are strewn around him (it is not clear whether he died from an accidental overdose), a woman injects a man in the arm with a drug while sitting in a restroom, a man prepares a dug and injects another man while he is driving a car, and a man struggles with drug withdrawal symptoms and we see him thrashing, perspiring and moaning. People are seen drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes in several bar scenes, men do shots of alcohol in a few bar scenes, a man wakes up on he floor after a long night of drinking, people drink alcohol at a party and a man is seen asleep on the floor of his home and we see empty beer bottles and cans on tables around him as his young daughter plays nearby.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Sudan, civil war, children as soldiers, peace talks, sin, being saved, freedom fighters, excess, greed, hate, killing for the right reasons, faith, trust, mercenaries.

MESSAGE - If people commit themselves to helping, they can make a difference one small step at a time. Christianity and committing violence are not incompatible.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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