The Dig (2021)

The Dig is a Netflix Original film, adapted from the 2007 historical novel by John Preston. This true story follows excavator Basil Brown, who unearths a valuable piece of history prior to World War II. Let’s consider the pros and cons of The Dig…

Pros: From the sweeping landscape shots to the emotional close ups, the cinematography in this film is gorgeous! Equally as impressive are the nuanced performances in this period piece. Ralph Fiennes carries this movie with the help of Carey Mulligan, but the smaller performances are quite impressive as well. Lastly, this movie excels when it shows Mr. Brown’s methodical process for conducting a dig. The director, Simon Stone does an amazing job capturing the beauty of this craft. He also makes the discovery of historically significant artifacts a positively elating experience!

Cons: Although there are some great scenes in this movie, those moments are few and far between. Secondly, the already slow moving story takes a detour in order to introduce a cast of new characters that join Mr. Brown’s excavation. The new characters are fine, but they’re pretty hollow and mostly one dimensional. The movie goes to great lengths to show the marital problems between two of these characters, but their relationship drama is inconsequential to the overall story. Lastly, the creative decision to dub dialogue over certain scenes where the characters are either not talking or not even part of the conversation, is slightly jarring. The teetering between on screen dialogue and dubbed over dialogue might have some significance that I am missing, but unfortunately it only succeeded in pulling me out of the movie.

I give The Dig a B. It is a beautifully shot film and a true story worth telling. If you’re a patient movie watcher and open to artistic flourishes, this may be the perfect film for you. Happy Watching!





  • Acting
  • Cinematography
  • Directing
  • Characters
  • Dialogue
  • Pacing

Where to Watch

“That’s life what’s revealed. And that’s why we dig”

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