“The Dig”


Metacritic (6/10), Rotten Tomatoes (***)

Despite fine production values and an excellent performance by Ralph Fiennes, this elegant fact-based period piece about a lonely widowed heiress who hires an underappreciated amateur archaeologist to excavate an enigmatic site on her estate looks great but has considerable trouble keeping its focus on the central narrative. Director Simon Stone’s latest introduces a growing number of story threads as the picture progresses, many of them not particularly interesting, that draw attention away from where the film starts, a launching point that’s not an especially compelling tale to begin with. The movie’s lavish production values, beautiful cinematography and sweeping score help to make this release appear better than it actually is, but, once those cover attributes are swept aside, viewers are left with an underwhelming offering that’s not as engaging as the filmmakers believe it to be.