The story behind Machine Gun Preacher is inspiring: Sam Childers traded criminal activity for a life attempting to rescue children in Sudan who would otherwise be co-opted into warfare by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

But the movie that dramatises Sam Childers’ story — Gerard Butler stands in for Childers, with a seemingly unstable accent — looks like total by the numbers superficial claptrap. He finds Jesus! He finds a soul! He helps kids! And when the resistance army fights back, he picks up a bazooka and blows them to hell! It’s like Rambo: First Blood Part II for a more sensitive, post-2000 set, courtesy of Monsters Ball director Marc Forster. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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I’m going to avoid really embracing any obvious gags like ‘Take Shelter really took Sundance by storm,’ but the fact remains that Jeff Nichols‘ film about a man’s deteriorating mental state really made an impression on viewers both at Sundance and at Cannes. The film stars Michael Shannon as a man who dreams of an apocalyptic oncoming storm, and features Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) and Shea Whigham. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the movie at Sundance, and now there is a great trailer. Read More »

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