Diggers

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Diggers Movie Poster Image
Intimate '70s indie drama won't interest kids.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Working clamdiggers may be put out of business by a big fishing company. Siblings deal with their father's death.

Violence

A bar fight breaks out, and several characters punch and kick each other. Two male characters scuffle over a woman. A wife slaps her husband twice.

Sex

A womanizing character is "serviced" in a car (the woman is shown sitting up in the car). He also flirts with/kisses women and has sex with Gina (her naked back is visible). Two women discuss sex and adultery. Lisa and Hunt kiss and make love. Three men moon each other (bare buttocks).

Language

Dozens of uses of "f--k," as well as plenty of other language: "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," and the like.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

It's the '70s: plenty of drinking, marijuana and cigarette smoking, and pill popping among all of the characters. One character casually deals drugs and even drops acid.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this little indie drama stars comedic actors like Paul Rudd and Ken Marino, it's actually an intimate, mostly serious look at the lives of a group of 1970s Long Island clamdiggers -- so it's not likely to appeal to teens unless they're fans of the cast (what, your kids aren't into clamdigging?). The thirtysomething working-class friends explore mature subjects like death, adultery, unplanned pregnancy, job insecurity, promiscuity, and marital problems. Drug and alcohol use and adult language are constant.

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What's the story?

DIGGERS is a small period drama that tackles everything from death and abortion to the demise of independent fishermen in 1970s Long Island. Hunt (Paul Rudd) comes from a long line of clamdiggers but would rather practice photography. When Hunt's dad dies unexpectedly, he bottles up his emotions, while his sister, Gina (Maura Tierney), takes up with the neighborhood lothario (Ron Eldard). Hunt and Gina's colorful friends include Lozo (Ken Marino); his long-suffering wife, Julie (Sarah Paulson), and the clique's perpetually high philosophizer, Cons (Josh Hamilton). All of them endure the little indignities that accompany working-class life, but with enough booze, cigarettes, and company, they all manage to survive day by day. When Hunts meets summering Manhattanite Zoey (Lauren Ambrose), her brassy worldliness finally makes him curious about the world beyond Long Island.

Is it any good?

Starring a notable ensemble of character actors -- many of whom are equally at ease with both comedy and drama -- Diggers is an affecting chronicle of hard-working, hard-partying friends. Director Katherine Dieckmann's eye for detail expertly depicts the blue-collar '70s tableau -- from the fashions to the nonchalance with which a father drives his un-seatbelted children around in a hearse-like station wagon. Hunt's experience at the film's bittersweet end will remind everyone who's ever left a small town just how exciting and terrifying it can be to leave home and everyone you know.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how both people and institutions behave in the movie. What's the movie's message about what big companies do to independent workers? Do you agree? Why or why not? And how do the characters react to difficult issues like grief and complicated parent-child relationships? Families can also discuss the movie's '70s setting. Do you think this is an accurate depiction of that era? Do you think the same story could have been told in a contemporary setting? Why or why not?

Movie details

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