Parents' Guide to

The Dig

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dignified, subtle historical drama has sensuality, smoking.

Movie PG-13 2021 112 minutes
The Dig Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Ruined a true story.

This could have been a good movie, but they chose to ruin it by adding things that were not a part of the historical account. They took a married couple (who were really a part of the project) and turned them into the wife being an adulterer and the husband being homosexual. Neither of these ever happened. Why make that a part of the story? Not only did they make these things up, but then they made those choices come across as romantic. It did not add to the remarkable story, and it became a distraction. Ruined the movie for me.
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Building the future by unearthing the past

Slow burn of a film that demands patience and is better experienced than heavily thought about. It is a film about people trying to give to the future by unearthing the past. It succeeds in giving the audience hope that there are people who think about the future by preserving the past so we can learn and build. The story takes a few turns that seem extraneous to the plot, perhaps it was an adaptation issue.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (7):

Graceful, restrained, and eloquent: The tone, aesthetic, and delivery of this drama match that of its aristocratic main character. Magnificently well-woven, the complexities of the story also resemble the excavation -- it's slow and steady, and we must keep brushing away the dust and pay close attention to slight details to discover the inner lives of the subjects. Intense feelings are bubbling under the surface but never expressed. Even the slights and jabs directed at gender and class are understated.

While little is said in The Dig, much is understood ... and yet it's hard to distinguish exactly what it's trying to say. Gentle whispers that we live on through our actions blow around like dandelion fuzz, contrasting sharply with the abundance of blatant metaphors. For example, a short time after Brown speaks with Edith about potential riches to be found buried in the mound, the dirt collapses on him, and she digs him out -- yep, Mr. Brown is the real treasure here. Less obvious is director Simon Stone's choice to play dialogue over scenes in which the characters are shown not speaking. Once or twice, sure. But used repeatedly, the device becomes disconcerting. Still, The Dig is artful, elegant, and educational. All of this may sound enticing if you're an adult, but expect kids to be a bit confounded by the nuance. Reading between the lines isn't usually the strong suit of the young, and so for them to get the most out of the film, this is a gem that may need to stay undiscovered until they're a tad older.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate