The Maze Runner Poster

The Maze Runner (2014)

Action | SciFi 
Rayting:   6.8/10 421017 votes
Country: USA | UK
Language: English

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.

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User Reviews

nboyer17 24 September 2014

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.

shawneofthedead 11 September 2014

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

digdog-785-717538 11 December 2014

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.

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