"Moral Dilemma on the Ocean"

Content: -1 Discretion advised for older children.

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What You Need To Know:

STYX is a slow German movie. The story follows a paramedic who decides to sail hundreds of miles to the Galapagos Islands. During her journey, she spots a stranded ship in the distance with hundreds of refugees signaling for help. People begin to jump into the ocean, probably drowning, but one boy makes it to her boat. She calls for the Coast Guard, but days pass, and no one shows. She must summon her strength and wisdom to figure out how to help these people, while also not putting herself in danger.

STYX lands on the more amateur side of filmmaking. Many of the shots, especially in the first half, continue too long and don’t serve the story. For a movie that’s a short 94 minutes, it feels very slow and uneventful for most of its running time. STYX has a moral worldview, with a priority for human life being a major theme, and there’s little questionable content. There’s also not much entertainment value. Caution is advised for older children because of tense situations, and the protagonist’s moral dilemma in STYX.


(BB, C, H, Ev, L, VV, N, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview as woman tries to help other people causing a major inconvenience to herself, she stays with them until the help arrives days later, themes of self-sacrifice and a huge value for human life, teenage boy says a prayer in a foreign language ending with “Amen,” but it’s unclear to whom he is praying, minor humanist element as protagonist is on a quest to visit an island studied by Charles Darwin, implying an interest or belief in Darwin’s views supporting evolution

Foul Language:
One obscenity, one depiction of vomiting

Moderate amount of violence, one car crash scene showing an injured driver with some blood shown, teenage boy has a wound on his back, one scene where many people are shown that are dead or close to dead with sores on their bodies, but minimum blood

No sexual content

Upper male nudity as a man lays on a bed in an ambulance, upper female shown from behind and a bit of the side, as woman takes off her shirt, woman swims in the ocean presumably in the nude, and body is distorted through the water, woman shown bathing from shoulders up, teenage boy is shown in his underwear a few times, once for medical purposes and once to jump into the ocean

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drug use; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Teenage boy pushes woman off of her boat in an attempt to steer it elsewhere, examples of government corruption.

More Detail:

A slow-paced German movie, STYX begins one night in Germany that for anyone else would feel very chaotic and scary, but for Rieke, is just another day in the life of a paramedic. She has decided to embark on a long solo trip across oceans on her sailing yacht to the Galapagos Islands. She prepares her boat with enough water, food and supplies for her journey.

When she begins her trip, everything is going as planned. She sails without any trouble, and takes a swim in the ocean. However, one bright and sunny day, she spots something odd in the distance. She grabs her binoculars and takes a closer look. It’s a ship that’s been wrecked in the middle of the ocean, full of people trying to signal for help. She tries to radio their boat, but there is no response. Next, she rings the Coast Guard, informing them of the situation and her location. They tell her that they will send help shortly, but hours pass and no one has come yet. She gathers all the fresh water that she has and begins to move toward the ship. She can’t possibly take all of the people on the ship onto her small yacht, and she tries again for the Coast Guard. They warn her to stay far away and not to intervene for fear of putting herself in danger.

Suddenly, she sees people begin to jump off the ship and try swimming to her. She yells as loudly as she can for them to not jump, but people are fighting for their lives. One person begins to get close and she throws out a lifesaver, pulling him in. He’s a young teenage boy, and cannot summon the strength to climb onto the boat himself. She struggles to pull him up, tries to hydrate him and patch up his wounds.

Rieke calls again to the Coast Guard, receiving the same answer as she did after her first distress signals. When the young boy awakens, he pleads with her to go save the others on the ship, including his sister. Rieke is torn. If she goes to the ship, she risks her own life, but if she doesn’t, all the people on the ship will inevitably die.

For a movie that clocks in at only 94 minutes, STYX feels extremely slow. There are many shots in the first half that border on completely pointless and do nothing to contribute to the story as a whole. The entertainment value picks up around the middle, and the story begins to take better shape. It follows a primarily moral worldview, with major themes of love for humanity and self-sacrifice. There are a few violent situations that include some blood, as well as one curse word and one example of vomiting. Because of these things, as well as some mild nudity, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.