3 user 38 critic

The Dig (2021)

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Releases January 29, 2021
An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.


Simon Stone


Moira Buffini (screenplay), John Preston (novel)
727 ( 792)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Basil Brown
Stephen Worrall Stephen Worrall ... Ferryman
Danny Webb ... John Grateley
Carey Mulligan ... Edith Pretty
Archie Barnes Archie Barnes ... Robert Pretty
Robert Wilfort ... Billy Lyons
James Dryden ... George Spooner
Joe Hurst ... John Jacobs
Paul Ready ... James Reid Moir
Peter McDonald ... Guy Maynard
Christopher Godwin Christopher Godwin ... Dr. Parry
Ellie Piercy ... Mrs. Lyons
Bronwyn James ... Ellen McKenzie
Desmond Kaliszewski Desmond Kaliszewski ... Barge Skipper
Monica Dolan ... May Brown


An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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discovery | f rated | See All (2) »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Ralph Fiennes actually helped establish an archaeological field school based in Cheshire with his brother. The Poulton Research Project is a multi-period site with a significant medieval cemetery that archaeology students and volunteers help excavate every spring/summer See more »

User Reviews

Watch it for the wonderful performances from Carey Mulligan and Raplh Fiennes
20 January 2021 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"The Dig" (2021 release from the UK; 112 min.) reminds us at the very beginning that this is "Based On a True Story". We then go to "Suffolk, England, 1939" as Basil Brown arrives at the house of Edith Pretty. Turns out Mrs. Pretty has hired Mr. Brown to do some archeological work on her estate. Her young son excitedly asks Mr. Brown "Are you going to dig upo the mountain?". Mr. Brown, taking room and pension at Mrs. Ptretty's house, starts to dig and soon is working his way towards some intriguing finds... At this point we are 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is directed by little known Australian director Simon sstone ("The Daughter)". Here he brings us a historical drama about what later became known as the Sutton Hoo treasure, one of the biggest archeological finds in British history. The setting of 1939 is pivotal in several ways: of course the threat of WWII is in the air, but even more important, the way of life in those days was just entirely different, and being in a remote English area (near Ipswich) only reinfornces that. So be prepated for a slow moving film, I didn;t mind it one bit. Even more critical for the movie is Carey Mulligan's exquisite performance. Playing a person who is more than 20 years her senior in real life (Carey is 35, Mrs, Pretty was in her mid-50s in 1939), she does so with grace and style and presence. The role couldn't be more different from what Carey did in the recently release "Promising Young Woman", which was in my top 3 of the bests films of 2020. Ralph Fiennes is eqially great as the excavator Mr. Brown. Last but not least there is a wonderful orchestral score by Stefan Gregory, who I must admit was previously unknown to me.

"The Dig" opened last weekend in select theaters for a short run before then moving on to Netflix. (Seems like every other new theatrical release these days follows that pattern....) Thankfully the film opened at my art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The early Satruday evening screening where I saw this at was attended so-so (exactly 5 people including myself). Never mind. If you are in the mood for a good ol' fashioned hisstorical drama featuring outstanding performances from Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you still can), on VOD< or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.

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Release Date:

29 January 2021 (USA) See more »

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The Dig See more »

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