The Maze Runner - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Maze Runner Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2014
All of these youth franchise efforts start to blend together to me. Young antihero. Fight against the oppressive powers that be. As cookie cutter as some of the worst of the westerns used to be. If yer gonna do the genre couldn't ya at least have more'n one pitch? This outing offers nada fresh. Yawn.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 7, 2015
A bunch of running around to what purpose? And why does everything have to be so damned dark!
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2015
Totally fine. Is that enough to say about this movie? Yes. Yes it is.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2014
It's "The Hunger Games" mixed with "Lord of The Files"... except that any message it might have is missing due to the open-ended and unsatisfying conclusion. For those like me who have not read the books, you will feel frustrated by the lack of answers or clear hints about where it's all going. Nevertheless, the film was exciting at times, it's set in an intriguing world I'd like to know more about, and I found Dylan O'Brien's quite likable.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2014
Despite the interest generated by its intriguing mystery (in ways reminiscent of films like Cube), this recent addition to the young-adult wave that has plagued cinemas in the past few years has a silly ending that makes everything preceding it seem like a waste of time.
FiLmCrAzY
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2014
An intriguing and alternate post apocalyptic story but did nothing for me.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2014
Was on the side of average for me. It has its moments here & there, but it gets a little sluggish as it goes on. It concerns me that they are churning out a sequel so fast, but I suppose that's about the going rate for a YA adaptation these days.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2014
If anyone can reasonably explain to me the end of The Maze Runner in a way that makes some tangible amount of sense, I will give you money. The latest YA-franchise-in-the-making starts off with a storyline that reminded me of Rod Serling. We follow a group of teen boys, memories wiped, as they wake up in the center of a giant mechanical maze. Who put them there? Why? What's on the other side? As long as the maze and the mystery of it are front and center, the film works, twisting in intrigue. However, when the story veers away to the characters, mostly flat archetypes, and their new society, that's when I started getting sleepy. You got this awesome huge maze to explore, kids. The film ends up being an exercise in less-is-more restraint when it comes to sustaining a mystery and knowing what points to emphasize and which to skip over. There's a girl brought into their camp, the first, which they say should be a big idea and change the social dynamics of a group of boys, but it doesn't. There are silly mechanical spider monsters that scamper through the maze, as if the filmmakers felt a giant maze wasn't a sufficient enough obstacle and selling point. Scattered flashbacks early on spoil who is responsible for the maze, but when we get to the actual ending, the rationale for who built this large contraption and for what purpose doesn't add up, like, at all. An explanation wasn't necessary, but if they needed a quick one I would have accepted, "Aliens did it because." There's already a planned sequel in the works. My idea: the kids escape the maze only to discover... they've just entered a larger maze. Then they escape that maze only to discover... you get the idea. The Maze Runner is moderately enjoyable. Just don't expect to enjoy, understand, or even accept the ending and its implications.

Nate's Grade: B-
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2014
Aside from the occasional pot holes in the plot, The Maze Runner is a solid & thrilling adaptation. The film's ominous flow and its vivid dystopian landscape provides enough leverage and detail to launch the potential rest of James Dashner's YA novels in the series. 4/5
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2014
Whether or not you walk out loving or hating "The Maze Runner," you can definitely say that you had a blast during the build up to what is actually going on with the Maze. The film is lead by some great performances by some breakout stars and I can honestly say that I was enthralled almost the whole way through. "The Maze Runner" is genuine in all it sets out to accomplish, and even though there are a few generic and cliched elements throughout (notably the conclusion), it is an extremely fun and intense ride that will have you hooked. The sound design was incredible and I felt like I was running through the maze with them and I could not wait to see the outcome. There are a few lame lines of dialogue and the ending may not be the best in the world, but I would still tell people this is a great film."The Maze Runner" has it's issues, but it is very very well made.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2015
Much better than the marketing would have you assume.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2015
Based on the popular book series, The Maze Runner is an intense and suspenseful thriller. The story follows a group of young boys that find themselves wiped of their memories and sent into the center of a giant maze that's constantly changing. What the maze is and why the boys have been placed there is an enticing mystery, and the writing does an impressive job at setting up this world and creating intrigue. Additionally, the performances are fairly good, and the costumes and set designs have an interesting look and feel. However, there are some problems with the storytelling, as it seems a bit rushed at times with some random elements thrown in to add ambiguity. Though it's a little weak on story, The Maze Runner is an entertaining and exciting adventure.
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2014
The Maze Runner is an intense and well-directed film that rises above its counterparts to become something truly intriguing. It follows a boy who is released into a deadly environment cut off from the rest of the world where he meets several other boys, all with no memory and surrounded by a large maze. Let me say that I am tired of these young adult book to film adaptations where teenagers take down a corrupt government, but Maze Runner is something special. It takes a interesting and new approach to this genre by giving putting its characters into a very interesting environment. Yes, we can thank the author for that but director Wes Ball brings it to life on the big screen. The film is imperfect for sure. It contains several cliches, annoying plot holes, and an ending that left me with more questions than answers. Obviously the sequel will answer these questions, but its just aggravating to have to wait that long. But don't let this discourage you, this film is entertaining, thrilling, and kept my attention throughout. I enjoyed the similarities between this and Lord of the Flies and it gave it a nostalgic feel. As for the cast, each young actor delivers a solid performance that gave their character personality instead of the cookie cutter stereotypes that we got in films like Divergent and The Giver. Standouts would definitely be Dylan O'Brien and Thomas Sangster, both of which really stole the show for me. The Maze Runner is solid entertainment that, while imperfect due to some script issues, pulls off an excellent premise that sucked me into its atmosphere. You will be excited and entertained with this film, and really could you ask for more.
Super Reviewer
½ February 23, 2015
The Maze Runner series really appealed to me and long before it was a movie, I read all four books. I was hoping that like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner would be a page for page telling of the story, but it wasn't and in fact several important elements crucial to the sequels were left out. The story begins with a boy named Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) waking up in an elevator, surrounded by dozens of other boys. Thomas has no memory other than his name and quickly learns that none of the other boys do either. They are all trapped in the middle of a maze with no idea why or how to escape. This film was done well, but compared to the book, it is like a seventh graders book report. All the players are the same and the events are relatively the same, but all those little things that made this series so special and unique were left out. The film is just a simple story with some terrific special effects, but the book was really extraordinary and non-readers will never have any idea of just how good this movie could have been. Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien stars and really was the perfect choice to play Thomas. Unlike some of the other casting choices, O'Brien really seems to jump right from the pages to the screen in a defining role that almost seemed made for him. Thomas was the same in the movie as he was in the book, but he was the only one. It's very hard to be objective about this, because if I hadn't read the book, I still would have enjoyed the film, but realizing just how much of the story is missing really bothers me and skewed my review of the film. The story is unique, the special effects are great, and their some very good young actors here, I still highly recommend The Maze Runner, but if you are a reader and you enjoy Science Fiction, by all means read the book first.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2014
Aping Lord of the Flies more than The Hunger Games, the entertaining but sometimes pedestrian puzzler Maze Runner raises pulses more than piffle with this, an oftentimes exciting Dystopia tale that boasts more style than smarts. Frightening enough to sometimes feel like an R-rated thriller, this teen-starring and teen-friendly YA book adaptation proves distinctive enough to cast off direct comparisons to its contemporaries but still manages to check off most of the same cliche boxes afforded this sub-genre. The first in a series with built-in sequel potential? Check. Post-Apocalyptic setting? Check. Heartthrob protagonist? Check. There's more to this list, but providing such detail would duly qualify as spoilers. Smartly, the movie races ahead at a rousing clip, filling the audience in judiciously as we move along without ever courting boredom. Then comes the big - but rather lackluster - reveal, cramming a chapter's worth of exposition into a few minutes.

In this PG-13-rated adaptation of James Dashers novel, Thomas (OBrien) gets deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning he must join forces with fellow "runners" to escape a deadly maze.

Still, the novel's shortcomings don't take away from director Wes Ball's verve. This former effects adviser knows how to craft a sometimes terrifying crowd-pleaser. With Dylan O'Brien, he found a very capable leading man with great star potential. Coloring outside of the lines of an almost stock character, he runs Ball's rewardingly dour gauntlet to often great effect.

Bottom line: Running with Sniggers
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Super Reviewer
September 21, 2014
I didn't go in with great expectations when seeing this film and after watching it, I wasn't surprised or disappointed. The film is no Hunger Games or Divergent. Those 2 films are better than this one. This one is like Lord of the Flies meets The Giver or Ender's Game. It also reminded me a little of the Ray Liotta film, No Escape.

Some of the film's action sequences happen too fast, that it is hard to tell what happened or who got hurt, hit, or killed. This is happening in a lot of Hollywood films. They need to slow it down, so that the audience can clearly see what is happening on the screen. Also, I found the film a bit confusing by the end with the big revelation in regards to Patricia Clarkson's character and what she says. It raised more questions than answers.

Dylan O'Brien, who is good on Teen Wolf and in The Internship, is good here as Thomas. Kaya Scodelario reminded me a lot of Kristen Stewart. She would be perfect playing Kristen's sister in a film. Will Poulter, who was hilarious in We're the Millers, is great as the antagonist here. Thomas Sangster, who was great in Love Actually, also does a good job here.

It is clear that the studio was trying to make a new franchise along the Hunger Games or Twilight movies, with this film. Already a sequel will come out next year. I only hope the sequel will slow the action sequences and will be less confusing than this film.
Sackmans
Super Reviewer
½ February 20, 2015
Solid suspense building and a worthy entry into the glut of YA trilogies. Maze Runner is entertaining and the unique premise, while seemingly outlandish,is
enthralling. I am skeptical that the epic scale of the fantasy world can be sustained in the sequels, but the first entry delivers.
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2015
I have not read any of the books in the series and have to say that I found myself enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would. The first part of the film is particularly enjoyable as Thomas and the rest try to work out why they are there. I also thought it was paced well.

Comparisons with Lord of the Flies, Battle Royale and Hunger Games are obvious references but accurate. I thought it a bit too scary for children. The ending had me thinking and I am looking forward to the sequels.
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