The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
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Run - Remember - Survive
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Set in a post-apocalyptic world, young Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.

Title:The Maze Runner
Release Date:September 10, 2014
MPAA Rating:14
Genres:Action, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Production Co.:Ingenious Media, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Gotham Group, Dayday Films, Temple Hill Entertainment, TSG Entertainment
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:Wes Ball, Nancy Breaux, Steve Gehrke
Writers:, , ,
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:based on novel, maze, post-apocalyptic, dystopia, escape, memory loss, erased memory, trapped, dystopic future, runner, based on young adult novel
Alternative Titles:
  • 1. The Maze Runner - [GB]
  • Correr O Morir - [MX]
  • Maze Runner Correr o Morir - [MX]
  • 迷宫行者 - [CN]
  • Begyshii v labirinte - [RU]
  • Maze Runner - [US]
  • Bėgantis labirintu - [LT]
  • Maze Runner 1 - [CA]
  • 移動迷宮 - [TW]

The Maze Runner Reviews

  • Cmoon Man!
    by sie_aris on 29 September 2014

    362 out of 527 people found the following review useful:

    My English is so bad, I don't speak English, but i'm trying hard to write this review! so you knew my disappointment

    Don't waste your time and money watching this. I keep on cursing during the movie.

    They been there for 3 years, why not build a ladder, so when the runner late coming, they can climb back to the glade. The wall is still reachable, they have plenty of trees, knifes, axe, rope etc.. Even kids will build a ladder.. even you can make a HOLE on the wall very easy!! its shown when Galby make people name on wall very easy.

    Newt said, "trust me. we have tried everything" while gardening.

    You put a group of young man with no supervision and they they will become a farmer??? OMG this is insulting. No violence? c'mon...

    After 3 years they send Thomas to the glade. why? never explain clearly.. because all the guys were doing nothing but gardening? Even Thomas had to sting his self and got cured so he can remember things, but when he remember things, so what ? it doesn't solve anything nor have any connection to any plot. He already found the way out before.

    They have build a complete miniature of the maze while the maze always sifting. And why the... Alby is going with Minho on checking the maze? the story never explain why..

    If the sting bring people back memories, why should cast Ben when he got sting? Just keep him in the hole, ask things to him and let him died. while when Alby go sting. they keep it!!! why people whyyyy????? Even Minho risk their live to carry and bring Alby back to glade, and put Thomas life in danger because he think Alby is wounded or something. And after they all locked up Minho said to Thomas.. "congrats, you just kill your self, Alby got sting" what the..... Minho knew Alby got sting, stinged people should be abandon inside the maze right? just leave him!! he is the leader of the runner he should knew more!

    They all good looking, well hair cut and fashion group of man in the middle of nowhere.

    If you already knew the schedule of the maze to shift, have the maps, you don't have to be a runner, you can just walk. But then again there is a monster in the maze, why are you keep on coming back with just small knife?

    And when a girls show at least some guys should have a joke saying something about it. I was kind of expecting it. Especially when you are a group of young men that lived in the jungle for 3 years!

    I just don't understand the story of this movie.. to put all the people in to the maze surrounded by monster to study their brain? cmooooonnnnn!! I would just make a survival contest rather that build a super complex million dollar maze with AI droid monster just to see people survive. That is insulting the future man!

    No bodies after the slay? OK now the monster eat people, while in the first part it only sting.

    Runner sign off because Alby got stinged? while actually there has been a lot of people died before Alby.

    Thomas and Minho suddenly have a long rope from the woods and its already hooked up at the top to drag Alby body to the top.

    The monster fight was horrible.. you fighting a gigantic robotic monster with a stick??

    They gave 2 cure serum to the girl what for? that's not studying people mind. Just like giving an answer on your examp.

    They live among a monster they should have create a defense system like a weapon or something. I would build a catapult, Arrows, Traps. I'm expecting to see hardcore life in that glade.

    Alby said the 3 rules, "Work hard, never hurt anybody, and never go trough that big wall.." I mean you locked in jungle with a giant big DOOR open? any sane people want to know. Why cant you say, it's a freakin sifting maze and has big scary spider monster inside!

    THERE IS SO MUCH WRONG in this movie.. I can FEEL that the glade citizen is a peaceful society, peaceful life, enjoy farming, gardening.. While actually they shouldn't. you live in a box among monster!! its really beyond expectation!

    At the end.. the gun from the dead body. Which I should take it!!! to protect my self and friends, not kick it! so Galby, that show from nowhere can have it!

    __________ Final word. The end of the movie really make me want to pour my pop corn to someone face! And the exit door was a joke!!

    ___________________ Movie effect on me. I really can't sleep thinking.. why would someone make such a horrible insulting people intelligent movie like that, I rather watch spongebob guys. really!

    ___________ Suggestion. I think its better if the creator was a maniac and love to see people suffer! and when they finally got out, they capture the creator and kill him or put him on the maze with the monster, and they can see again the beautiful world with their families. It's shitty end i know! but it far better ending than this confusing (trying to make a good unpredicted mystery ending).

    PS I haven't read the book.

  • Formulaic Cheesefest
    by a1_andy_11 on 19 September 2014

    227 out of 333 people found the following review useful:

    The trailer got me into the cinema and it wasn't even at the halfway point that I realized I'd made a mistake.

    The premise is interesting. The outline seemed reminiscent of the dark and clever Cube. Unfortunately this film is squarely aimed at the younger, hunger games crowd.

    Pacing is terrible. There's endless exposition and pointless dialog throughout. The characters are cookie cutter predictable. I feel like we've had variations on this story 1000 times. Instead of using a really interesting premise, the film went exactly where you'd expect. Right down to spelling out the sequel for us in the final act.

    Uninspired garbage. It's the kind of film Christopher Nolan could turn into a piece of art. It's a pity the writers and director turned this film into derivative mediocrity.

  • Completely Forgettable and Rehashed
    by Kurt Nolan on 24 September 2014

    299 out of 502 people found the following review useful:

    I went into this film with low expectations. Having never read any of James Dashner's books, I cannot tell with any certainty if the screenwriters were true to the novel, or if the book makes a better effort than the film to distinguish itself from the multitude of superior films it meekly attempts to imitate. What I know is that I left the theater laughing. And not in a good way.

    What should have been an exciting and visceral tale of survival and intrigue ended up stealing two hours of my life by conning me into thinking I would see something original. Instead of suspense and excitement, MAZE RUNNER laid out an entourage of familiar tropes, paper-thin characters, and contrived situations. The 'villainous' antagonist of the film was as one-dimensional and irrationally-plot serving as any character I've ever seen. The character was so silly and unbelievable I actually chuckled at him several times when the film begged me to be serious.

    The screenplay was a crash-course in heavy-handed exposition. It was jammed with stock lines: bland, insinuating lines that were supposed to put me on the edge of my seat but instead left me thinking, 'Okay, when are we going to get to the POINT of this movie?' We got to see the intimidating-jerk-who-doesn't-listen-to-reason character, the hardened-guy-who-will-later-be-reduced-to-a-weak-state-to-show-us how-shaken-up-the-best-of-us-can-get character, the arbitrary female (although, thankfully, fewer movies today are marginalizing women), the amnesiac/s, and the innocent-character-we-can-get-away-with-killing. The pacing of the film, if not the events, were completely predictable and the ending (which I came to the theater curious for in the first place) came off as stale and forced, like the rest of the ponderous placeholder scenes that served as a plot. If you've seen movies such as HUNGER GAMES, CABIN IN THE WOODS, or PANDORUM, you have already witnessed better characters, better reveals, and more assured examples of plot development.

    Hollywood has developed a very convenient formula to keep theaters full of impressionable teen audiences. We have an outsider who needs to find a part of the group to cling to. They meet a variety of similar sympathetic characters. They act impulsively, which is usually a good thing. They are almost always rebellious and independent by nature, but they need to avoid arousing the wrath of whatever all-powerful conglomerate is hell-bent on keeping them down. Until, of course, the time comes to overthrow them using the various talents that the group possesses. Along with a healthy dose of courage, resolve... and luck. Buckets of ludicrous, gratuitous, convenient, plot-serving luck.

    There is no reason that this film should have made the money it has. After six days, it has recouped its budget threefold. Every ticket you buy gives them more ammunition for a brain-numbing cookie-cutter sequel.

    I'm not saying the film is the worst I've ever seen. But for God's sake, we don't need any more movies like this. Here's to a better future.

  • Hardly aMAZEd
    by thesar-2 on 20 September 2014

    118 out of 178 people found the following review useful:

    While I was happy to finally see a male-oriented film series – and yeah, even before the last half hour of "To Be Continued!" scenes – in a female dominated marketplace (the Twilight "saga," The Hunger Games and Divergent) this movie all-but completely blew.

    Aside from The Maze Runner being a blatant rip-off of the superior Cube film, or its sequels, it was so incredibly bland, run-of-the- mill, predictable and A-B-C, I actually fell asleep during the movie. It didn't help that the movie was twenty minutes too long and that I knew what scene would take place four scenes ahead.

    During the movie I was absolutely giving it the benefit of the doubt. Without so much as telling us this was "Part One" of a trilogy (or four movies, depending on how well the first one does and they inevitably split the last movie into two so they can milk the series our longer than it needs, i.e. The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight,) the movie seemed to take its long time to explain everything out in extreme detail of their world. I was trying to be as patient as possible when I knew this was a necessity since this is a sci-fi, futuristic test for young boys.

    But, the rest of the movie played out this way. As if in narration form. They constantly had to tell us and remind us of the world they're referring to in the very movie they're showing us. I get it. I got it. And unfortunately, they we're showing me anything new.

    So, I waited and waited for something fresh. Some new take. Nope. And worse, as mentioned above, the last half-hour was NOTHING but setting up the inevitable sequels.

    I am getting ahead of myself since I haven't mentioned the synopsis. Very basically, once a month, a new young male recruit is transported into the middle of an obscenely large maze. He has memory loss and must have the entire plot be explained to him so he can integrate with the other males. They've been there between 3 years and present day and must make it through a hefty and unexplainably moving maze to get back to where they don't remember they've come from.

    Naturally, our "hero," Thomas, is THE ONE to help them get free. With little explanation and in one of the most pointless plots of recent movies, he joins forces with one of the most uncharismatic of all females – the first girl to join the group. Hilariously enough, she looks incredibly similar to Kristen Stewart of her Twilight series. Just like Bella, Stewart's bland heroine from Twilight, this one offers nothing to the table and is so hard to root for. In fact, it appears this endless rock-throwing female was only introduced to attract more female viewers.

    And that is a huge part of the problems here. While, again, I am glad to finally see a male-dominated teeny-bop series, not one single character had the charisma of any of the other series. Yeah, I'm not a huge Harry Potter or Hunger Games fan, but each of those had characters I rooted for and wanted to see succeed. This Maze Runner had one, and he was absolutely a second or third tier fella: Chuck. But, then again, if you've seen The Sandlot, he was the same guy who called that main character "Smalls."

    With virtually no one to root for, a story as old as time, decent special effects but barely used and predictable scenes from beginning to no-conclusion, this movie is highly UN-recommended. Granted, it's not the worst movie I've seen in a long while and definitely not the worst of 2014 so far, it will be so forgettable, they will be regretting they only made this movie to be part of a trilogy that should never be completed.

    * * *

    Final thoughts: If you're thinking of beginning this so-so franchise, either do one of two things: Wait for this to all come to home- viewing and have a boring, nothing weekend to get through them all or just rent/buy/stream the superior Cube series. Essentially, they're the same movie, but Cube had a tenth of the budget with ten times the heart, originality, imagination, suspense and characters than The Maze Runner had at any given moment.

  • A tense, entertaining film with enough thrills and drama to cover up its narrative inadequacies.
    by shawneofthedead on 11 September 2014

    183 out of 313 people found the following review useful:

    It's rare for a big movie studio to trust the future of a potential blockbuster franchise to a brand-new director. You'd imagine that there would be just too much at stake when it came to translating James Dashner's series of best-selling dystopian novels to the silver screen. But it's easy to see why Wes Ball got the job - with this one film, he graduates from short films to blockbuster movies with flair to spare. Indeed, The Maze Runner is such a cool, confident and thrilling blend of action beats and character work that it's hard to believe Ball has never before commandeered a full- length feature film. It's true that the narrative gets a little away from him by the end, making less sense as more secrets are revealed. But this is more a problem with the source material than Ball's own skills as a director.

    Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) finds himself thrust rudely into the world of the Glade: a community of boys who have figured out how to live while encircled by a giant, constantly changing maze, within which dwell giant, boy-eating monsters known only as Grievers. Many of the boys, including benevolent pioneer Alby (Aml Ameen) and champion of the old ways Gally (Will Poulter), are content with just surviving day to day. Thomas winds up unsettling the entire camp with his refusal to follow the rules and determination to ask questions: he wants to explore the Maze with designated runners like Minho (Ki Hong Lee), and figure out a way to get free. Life in the camp gets more complicated when, weeks before the next boy is due to be sent up to the Glade, a girl in the form of Theresa (Kaya Scodelario) arrives instead.

    There's a lot of blockbuster potential to be squeezed out of this premise, and Ball does so quite wonderfully. The Maze encircling the Glade is a stonily grey, massive enclosure, and the Grievers - when the boys encounter them in increasingly close quarters - are odd marvels made as much of machine as flesh. Ball cuts scenes of great, heart-stopping tension together masterfully: whether it's Thomas running through walls that are fast closing in on him, or Thomas and Minho trying to outrun a Griever while burdened with an unconscious Alby.

    The film even finds some welcome dramatic depth in this strange little community of lost boys in the Glade - Thomas' growing antagonism with Gally is balanced against the mutual respect he and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) develop for each other, and the brotherly connection that he forges with the adorable Chuck (Blake Cooper). The politics of the situation is fascinating as well: as much as The Maze Runner is about, well, running for your life in a giant maze, it also raises big questions about identity and integrity. Is safety and security worth giving up your right to information and choice?

    What works less well is the secret around which the Glade is constructed. As viewers, we aren't given a whole lot of answers about why the Glade and the Maze exists, nor do we get many explanations as to why Thomas is so different and insatiably curious. But the ones we do get - all centred around the mysterious, severe figure of Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) in some kind of control centre - oddly render the film and its characters less, rather than more, interesting. It's a strangely deflating experience to have the film's rich ethical dilemmas and intense action sequences give way to an underlying dystopian narrative that isn't really all that compelling.

    Nevertheless, The Maze Runner remains quite an accomplishment. It's an assured, impressive debut for Ball, one with enough electric tension and moody drama to intrigue throughout its running time. His young cast is fully capable of carrying their own weight, with Poulter - morphing from comic sidekick in We're The Millers into hateful adversary here - the standout. Its story collapses a little into itself as it hurtles towards its climax, but Ball's work is quite enough to leave viewers excited by the prospect of the inevitable sequel.

  • Too contradictory and illogical
    by bestcriteria on 21 September 2014

    116 out of 189 people found the following review useful:

    The movie is watchable and perhaps entertaining, but my wife did not like it at all. We both like thrillers, but this one was questionable at best as such.

    Problems: A large group of teenage boys, on their own with no adult direction or counseling, and they all seem to get along well? Ha! I was in an orphanage where we were over 20 boys about the same age as in the movie, and I can tell you that the movie's portrayal is not realistic. These boys are at the prime age when sex is practically the most important thing in their lives, there are no girls around, and everything is OK? Finally, when a girl shows up, none of the boys has any desire for her? Ha!

    And in spite of all this, some of the boys in the beginning appear to be fine with the notion of not trying to escape?

    The filming of the boys fighting with the monster is poorly done and the audience cannot tell what is happening. All the scenes are very up close, short duration, and definitely nothing but confusing.

    Contradictions (maybe mild spoilers?) The boys have managed to create a detailed model of the maze. Yet, at the beginning of the movie we are told that the maze changes daily, and based on the changes we see happen, there is no way that a model could be made. If the designated boys would be capable of 'mapping' a portion of the maze each day, by the time they mapped another portion the following day, the previous day's rendition would likely already be obsolete.

    The monster evidently is man-made, and its legs, stingers, and so on appear to be made of steel. Yet, the boys can hurt and even defeat the monsters with crude wooden spears.

  • Below average action movie
    by David Barker on 27 September 2014

    92 out of 145 people found the following review useful:

    I guess I'm kind of a traditionalist, because I like a story to build, including the part where you get to know the characters at least a little bit.

    I go into movies with an open mind and just let the movie unfold. I don't read reviews, although I come to IMDb to see the genres of movies and the rating. When I saw this had a 7 star rating I felt safe going to it.

    I'm guessing if you are a young child or a teenager this was interesting as this has all very young actors, which in itself isn't bad, but add that to a lack of story and no character development and I felt like walking out of the theatre about half way in, and the urge was growing the longer the movie went on. However I was there with my wife, we were in the a theatre with food service and I was enjoying the coke and popcorn, and I didn't want to bother my wife.

    People get stuck into a living area surrounded by maze, people find a way out in the end after battling some strange mechanical creatures, find out in the end of the movie they were put there as an experiment, and an obvious lead to a sequel as woman says next is phase 2. That's the spoiler. Oh I forgot, there was the character who was mostly an antagonist and the person who pushes to get out via the maze at all cost.

  • Awesome
    by diggus doggus on 11 December 2014

    104 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

    what can i say. i LOVED this film.

    yeah sure, it has a *few* weak points and maybe a plot hole or two. And the acting is barebones, these are kids, not Cyrano De Bergerac or Mephistofele, but boy the film is well done.

    I mistakenly googled the film's name before it was over, and disappointed myself to learn that it's just the first of three parts, so it means waiting another 2-3 years for the other two films, but that means also that i have something to look forward to.

    Now, i normally like more "profound" films, but for once, i really enjoyed this sci-fi romp and no, it's nothing like Twilight. A couple of the characters (Gally, Chuck) are phoned in, but then again, how would you write this kind of plot without these characters getting thrown in?

    So the film is a very pleasant, well paced, well directed, reasonably well acted, decently scored, great .. well, nice CGI, entertaining film that will please just about every audience there is, without being horribly commercial, soppy and cliché.

    I haven't had this much fun in a long while - although i gotta say Edge OF Tomorrow was just as good.

    My final vote - a very solid 8/10, and I'm wishing for parts 2 and 3 ASAP.

  • It wasn't that bad
    by serialteg on 29 November 2014

    46 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

    So I've read a lot of people dissing the movie, and I don't find it that bad. Maybe the book was better. Boy, doesn't that happen enough? The cinematography is good, the effects are good, the clichés are there.

    But if I leave it at that, you'd think "why did this guy give it 8/10"? Well, because I was entertained, I was left wondering, it could've been better like 99.9% of all movies ever made, but it also could've been a LOT WORSE.

    I studied - majored - in Cinematography, and I can appreciate the hard work that goes into a movie. Even if it's a bad movie. I stand and leave theaters when it goes bad, and I wouldn't have done it here.

    See the movie, draw your own conclusions (about the ladder: do you think the grievers wouldn't climb up?), and it looks like a book reading is in order.

  • Great concept, mediocre execution
    by the_real_smile on 29 November 2014

    101 out of 180 people found the following review useful:

    Wow, I really anticipated on this movie, suspense, action, the unknown, it all sounds very exciting. Now I must say that I have seen some very good movies and series round this theme that may influence my judgment, for example The Cube (1 - 3), Persons Unknown, Saw, etc. all have a person or group of persons who don't know how they get there or how to get away. How is it possible that those movies, some dating from 1997, are so much better then a 2014 movie? And being almost 2 hours long, how come so little happens in those 2 hours? Some reviewers already mentioned the contradictory and illogical elements in this movie, and yes, this does this movie, with such much potential, not much good, it's just annoying to see them not try what is so logic. The movie is entertaining, but leaves you very unsatisfied.

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