Murph: The Protector: Navy SEAL Doc Is a One-Note Hagiography

Location Info


Regal South Beach Stadium 18

1120 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: South Beach

Regal Kendall Village Stadium 16 & RPX

8595 SW 124 Ave.
Kendale Lakes, FL 33183

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: West Kendall


Written and directed by Scott Mactavish. Starring John McElhone, Daniel Murphy, and Jason Keenan. 81 minutes. Not rated.

Posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007 for his service as a Navy SEAL, Lt. Michael P. Murphy is celebrated as a man of staunch integrity and selflessness by Murph: The Protector. That depiction is presented as virtually unassailable by writer/director Scott Mactavish's documentary, which via a blandly conventional mixture of interviews, photos, and archival footage recounts how Murphy was a well-educated team player who always had his friends' backs, from standing up to schoolyard bullies on behalf of weaker kids to risking his life to make a battlefield phone call to save his wounded comrades. The film lionizes unabashedly, with Murphy's mother, father, cousins, friends, and fellow soldiers all telling anecdotes about how the SEAL was defined by his dedication to helping others. Such an uncomplicated portrait may be faithful to Murphy, who in all accounts comes across as a paragon of loyalty and heroism deserving of the many accolades he received after death. Yet, no matter its veracity, that veneration is the only point conveyed throughout, and in cinematic terms, it renders Murph: The Protector a one-note hagiography, no matter how convincing and affecting its portrait of unimpeachable courage.

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