The Maze Runner is a thrilling mystery and adventure movie, and the first part in a trilogy of films. It is directed by Wes Ball and based on the young-adult book series by James Dashner. The movie follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), a young man who awakens with amnesia in a new and startling location.
Surrounded by four giant walls and an ever-changing maze, Thomas and a group of other young men live in the Glade. Here, they spend day after day exploring the maze and searching for a way out. It’s an interesting premise with some darker aspects, but is that enough to stand out among other young-adult book adaptations? Luckily, yes.
How to Stream or Download The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner (2014) can be download from iTunes. you can also download it sequels: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) and Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018). To begin, click on the button below the review. If you enjoy young adult dystopian movies, be sure to also check out Divergent (2014) and The Hunger Games (2012).
The Film Review
Like the book it is based on, The Maze Runner is surprisingly dark and violent. It might contain several cliches and tropes similar to other young-adult movies like The Hunger Games, but it stands out thanks to an interesting and compelling mystery. The movie begins with protagonist Thomas waking up in the Glade, a grove of trees and nature surrounded by four massive stone walls.
At first, Thomas can’t even recall his own name, due to severe amnesia. Inside the Glade, other boys live off the land, recounting their own stories of arrival similar to Thomas’. Outside the Glade is the maze; a constantly changing set of walls and traps.
During the day, the walls open up to allow entrance to the maze, but at night they seal. No one ever survives a night in the maze, mostly because of the monstrous and foul creatures known as Grievers that lurk in the shadows.
The concept of The Maze Runner is pretty interesting, and the mystery of who the men are and why they are there is compelling enough. Despite its standing as a young-adult book adaptation, The Maze Runner consistently defies expectations.
Even when the inevitable female character Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) arrives, the movie doesn’t force a romantic sub-plot at you. The dark tone of the movie is lightened with some great comedy, mainly coming from the portly Glade-dweller Chuck (Blake Cooper). Chuck acts as a companion to Thomas throughout most of the film and is a great anchor for the audience.
But when things get particularly grim and violent, The Maze Runner manages to stay just shy of true horror.
The Maze Runner works well as both an adaptation and a standalone film. It leaves things on a cliffhanger, as most beginning movies in a trilogy do, but it tells a cohesive and contained story. The serious tone is played well by the vastly talented cast of young actors, with great performances from Dylan O’Brien, Blake Cooper, Ki Hong Lee, and Will Poulter.
There’s a great set of likable and memorable characters, serving as the glue to the movie’s mysterious and vague plot. Although its revelations and conclusion might be a bit predictable, the journey there is anything but. Between the horrifying Grievers, close-calls in the maze, and the overall tone and intrigue, The Maze Runner is a surprisingly fun time.
- Contains a refreshing and original concept that plays well with the tone
- Effective in its use of violence and horror, and never feels cheap or grotesque
- Great characters and excellent performances
- The ending is predictable and leaves audiences with a cliffhanger
- Inevitable changes from the source material will annoy fans of the book
- Some dialogue feels cheesy and forced