The Maze Runner
Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), a teenager, arrives in a glade at the center of a giant labyrinth. Like the other youths dumped there before him, he has no memory of his previous life. Thomas quickly becomes part of the group and soon after demonstrates a unique perspective that scores him a promotion to Runner status -- those who patrol the always-changing maze to find an escape route. Together with Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the only female, Thomas tries to convince his cohorts that he knows a way out.
Release Date: September 19, 2014
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Rated PG-13 Intense Seq. of Sci-Fi Violenc|Intense Seq. of Sci-Fi Action|Some Disturbing Images|Thematic Elements
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Based on a young adult series, The Maze Runner is another in a line of like-minded movies (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver) that present a dystopian vision of the future with teens leading the way to social order. For my money, I enjoyed The Maze Runner more than the others. It has good pacing, exciting scenes, and though it suffers from a Book-One open-ended finale, it still felt like it had a distinct beginning, middle and end.Click here to read the full reviewFebruary 10th, 2015 · Details
Serious story, to the point of melancholy. It takes great actors to pull that off, and still be enjoyable and these guys get an "A" for effort, but a "C" for acting skills. I did read the book first, and like most movies, this fell short. They shortened up the story a lot to fit it into this screenplay, which is unfortunate. The most disappointing part is I just couldn't learn to like the characters, even as much as I tried and wanted to. It left me feeling cold.January 27th, 2015 · Details
I went into this without having read the book this is based on. Even if this had not been based on a novel, I would have been impressed. The plot keeps you guessing right to the very end of the film. I found myself immersed in the environment of the characters. I felt some of their fear as new unpredictable things began happening one after the other. All actors involved played their parts superbly. The rating is spot on for mostly bloodless and implied violence, frightening monsters and some somewhat strong language. Definitely worth your time if you're into future dystopian mystery thrillers.January 24th, 2015 · Details
Wes Ball directs "The Maze Runner" at a relentless pace, and some of the action sequences may be too intense for young viewers. It all builds up to a quizzical climax that screams the word Hollywood longs to hear: sequel.Click here to read the full reviewOctober 21st, 2014 · Details
I loved the movie maze runner, it showed us about one persons ability to change the way people think, and he was determined to prove what he believed. Watching on the big screen really made it more real, great sound system movie tavern has.October 20th, 2014 · Details
"Lord of the Flies" meets "The Hunger Games" was my reaction to this film. Teens trying to survive in a world that seems to not want them there. While the acting was pretty good the story lacked in some ways. This is possibly because I read the book before seeing the film. I did not like some of the changes made in the film but I can see why some of them were necessary. As for the film though people will like the story as long as they are not tired of the dystopian teen theme in films now.October 10th, 2014 · Details
This movie was horrible. This is two hours of my life I'll never get back. I had so many questions after the first five minutes of the movie, and when the movie ended, not only did I still have those questions, I had a million more. This movie makes Battlefield Earth look like an Oscar winning movie. Save your money and rent this from a Redbox, if you're really, and I mean really, intent on seeing this movie.October 9th, 2014 · Details
Grade: B+ In a Nutshell: I’m so thrilled for my friend, James Dashner, who is the author of the book “The Maze Runner” that this film is based on! I first met him when he and I were doing a book signing at the same store. People were lined up to meet him, of course, while I sat and twiddled my thumbs. Ha ha I have a hard time picturing my books being made into movies since I write non-fiction! He and I are both members of the same author group and he is considered our resident rock star. I’m so happy that his book was made into a movie! That’s so unbelievably awesome! You can see a picture of us together at a recent writers’ conference on my author blog at www.Boicebox.blogspot.com The story is a bit of a dystopian Lord of the Flies, as teenage boys try to figure out how they ended up on the edge of a killer maze and who put them there. I haven’t had time to read the book, so I’m not sure what we might be missing in this suspenseful flick, but James said that the “tone and spirit and vision” of what he wrote in the book is totally in the movie. Uplifting theme: Learning how to work for the benefit of others, these teenage boys also demonstrate courage, sacrifice, and teamwork. Things I liked: • As a mother of 4 sons, I thought it was funny and definitely true-to-life that the boys generally spent their evenings wrestling each other. Ha ha • The scary noises reminded me of the creepy alien sounds in War of the Worlds. • The movie starts fast and throws us into the action without dilly-dallying.. I always like that! • All of the young actors did a great job, although I wish there had been time for more character development. Things I didn’t like: • There were some plot holes that bugged me. I’m assuming the sequel will fill them? • The runners wore these leathered, strappy things, but I couldn’t see what purpose they served. They weren’t quite backpacks, so what were they for? • They say “W.K.D. is good.” Really? No, I don’t want kids thinking wicked is good. • Despite being trapped in a camping set-up, the boys are able to concoct some form of alcohol for partying at night. Interesting lines: • “You’re not like the others; you’re curious.” - Alby • “It’s not a prison; it’s a test.” - Thomas • “You’ll get your name in a day or two. That’s one thing they let us keep.” - Alby • “You don’t get it. We’re already dead.” – Minho Funny lines: • “I don’t know if he’s brave or stupid. Whatever it is, we need more of it.” - Minho • (SPOILER ALERT) “Seriously?” - Jeff, when he sees the “Exit” sign. • “I thought you had the chops to be a runner…until you face-planted.” – Newt Fun Facts about James Dashner: • He and I both graduated from BYU. He majored in accounting, which seems like such a boring profession for such a creative guy! He said “My heart bleeds for accountants. I don’t miss it even in the slightest, tiniest, little bit.” Ha ha • James is a movie buff like me and confessed that movies like “Star Wars”, “Alien”, “Terminator” and “The Matrix” influenced his writing. It was the maze in the movie “The Shining” that got him thinking about writing his own novel that would feature one. • Now that his book has been turned into a movie, he’s interested in screenwriting. Go James! Tips for parents: Mild profanity, deaths, scary noises, violence. Small children may be frightened by the “grievers” (robotic monstors that chase and kill the “gladers”).September 21st, 2014 · Details
I didn't know what to expect going in. One word came out: INTENSE. As a movie goer oft times I judge if I like a film by whether I felt entertained. I have never read the book, but this film made me want to read it and those that follow it. Although clarity doesn't come until the end, I was certainly captivated. Not much character development, but perhaps the next film will give more of that. That being said, I think parents should avoid taking young children to it. It is too intense, and I watched one man take his child (couldn't have been over 10) out because he was scared. It has some profanity scattered throughout, some violence, and certainly some tense and scary moments. There is some underage drinking as well. I would recommend no one under 15 should see it alone.September 19th, 2014 · Details
The Maze Runner is loosely based on the bestselling first book of a young adult trilogy written by James Dashner. It's a dark, violent and sometimes profane movie. It's pretty intense, especially considering its roots in YA lit—hard to watch and, at times, hard to stomach. Even Thomas' elevator ride at the very beginning is a study in tension, compelling us to gulp down the confusion and fear our amnesic protagonist himself is feeling... See Full ReviewClick here to read the full review
There's nothing The Maze Runner offers that hasn't already been done, often more effectively, but it's a competent film that, in its second half, grows exciting during certain stretches. That may be enough for younger viewers who haven't yet been saturated with these dystopian tales, and who can handle the intensity of the segments that helped earn the film its PG-13 rating. Older viewers will likely be less impressed, or even bored, by a story that feels too often like a retread than a fresh take on familiar material... See Full ReviewClick here to read the full review
Violence of course is the biggest concern in this movie, with some bloody and even graphic depictions of fatal injuries, deadly creature attacks, murdered victims and an apparent suicide. Maintaining order inside the Glade also involves some fistfights and imprisonment. As well, the script includes a couple dozen profanities and some crude name-calling. Still when it comes to an action drama for older teens, The Maze Runner has a lot to offer. Driven by curiosity, Thomas refuses to accept his fate. Rather he encourages the rest of the group to join him in his quest. And like so many of the other teen characters we’ve seen in theaters lately, these ingenious kids refuse to stay put once they realize they’ve been played... See Full ReviewClick here to read the full review
Yes, it’s another dystopic YA trilogy (actually, there’s a fourth volume, a prequel), and yes, only a teenager with fabulous cheekbones can save the day. But “The Maze Runner” is not a lesser repeat. It is a worthy addition to the genre, an absorbing drama with surprising turns and even more surprising resonance to contemporary conflicts... See Full ReviewClick here to read the full review
The Maze Runner will have you going in circles. Sometimes it's a hectic action adventure, other times it feels like an updated version of Lord of the Flies. Utimately, it's yet another tale of a teen dystopia... See Full ReviewClick here to read the full review
THE GLADE — This weekend’s big release is The Maze Runner, a post-apocalyptic young-adult offering based on the book of the same name. Given that there has been a pretty lackluster slate of movie releases over the past few weeks, it’s practically guaranteed that Maze Runner will rocket to the top of the box office. But is it worth seeing? And, more importantly, is it appropriate for your family?
Is it any good?
While I am not a teenager and therefore not a member of the core target audience for this movie, I have enjoyed similar offerings like Divergent and The Hunger Games, and so I was actually looking forward to The Maze Runner. Sadly, the movie fell short in a number of ways.
The film begins with Thomas, our protagonist, entering the Glade, a greenbelt at the center of a massive maze. Thomas meets a group of other young men who have spent the last three years building up a society in the Glade and sending daily runners into the maze to map it and attempt to find a way out. The runners, however, must return each evening as creatures called Grievers roam the maze at night, killing anything they see. The Glade is kept safe from the Grievers because the maze closes its entrance to the Glade each night, though that also means that any runners who don’t make it back in time are trapped for the night. No one has ever survived a night in the maze. Predictably, Thomas is special and even though he is initially told he can’t be a runner he becomes one through acting heroically. As dangers increase, he becomes the charismatic leader that just might help everyone escape.
While I was not expecting a lot of creative originality in the movie, The Maze Runner is almost painful in its predictability. Even the jokes telegraph their arrival so obviously that they lose any sense of being funny. Backing up that predictability is a plethora of sub-par acting and a frankly mediocre script that never explains anything until the very end and then leaves you with gaping plot holes that do not satisfy. There is a reason The Maze Runner was released in September instead of going up against sure-fire block busters in November and December.
My ultimate test for whether or not a movie is worth my time is in how many times throughout the movie I wonder when it will be over so I can go home. I counted no fewer than five such occurrences during my viewing of The Maze Runner. What’s more, my friend and I left the theater talking about how long the movie was, yet it clocks in at just under two hours. Both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ( 2 hrs 26 minutes ) and Divergent ( 2 hrs 20 minutes ) were a good bit longer, yet felt a good bit shorter.
What Families Need to Know
The Maze Runner is a PG-13 movie aimed at young adults, and it is mostly appropriate for such audiences ( I rated it ok for ages 14+ ). Instances of terrifying monsters, the spilled guts of such monsters, death, and violence should definitely keep younger children away. Further items of possible concern for parents include:
Several instances of light cursing
A scene involving underage drinking as part of a party
An apparent suicide
An instance where the boys push one of their own into the maze to die
Art director turned director Wes Ball gives us a convincing maze of towering, weathered and moss-covered concrete, and a woodland world where the boys have mastered shelter building and fire starting. The film has fine moments of claustrophobia as the moving walls threaten to squish assorted boys, the spiders are humongous and the lads disagree among themselves, violently, about what to do. Very “Lord of the Flies.” But all these literary underpinnings do not disguise a blasé, emotion-starved script, dialogue that ineptly repeats what the images have already shown us is happening, stagey scenes where characters poke each other in the chest to keep them from storming out of the camera frame. And the resolution to this puzzle is so botched it’s insulting, as if they’re daring us to laugh at the notion that this is merely “the beginning.” You have to go all the way back to last weekend’s “Atlas Shrugged III” to find a sci-fi film promise that cringe-worthy... See Full ReviewClick here to read the full reviewSeptember 17th, 2014 · Details