Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    Sep 18, 2014
    88
    Beyond the visuals, what makes The Maze Runner so compelling is its attention-grabbing storyline.
  2. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Sep 17, 2014
    78
    Even if it doesn’t manage to be quite the "Hunger Games"-level hit its producers would clearly desire, it’s the best of the wannabes we’ve seen so far.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Sep 18, 2014
    75
    Director Wes Ball makes a solid feature film debut, without any noticeable video game envy to his action sequences.
  4. Reviewed by: Ethan Gilsdorf
    Sep 18, 2014
    75
    Using a refreshingly gentle FX touch, Ball has successfully transposed the decaying, vine-covered concrete jungle look of his short onto this gorgeously-designed feature. The neophyte knows how to direct heart-pumping chase scenes and has coaxed surprisingly solid performances from his young ensemble cast, especially O’Brien and Poulter.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Sep 18, 2014
    75
    Director Wes Ball doesn't have much experience with actors, but for once that's a plus; his background is in animation and art direction, and the design of the maze (brutal slabs of concrete and steel) and the attacks by the spiders ("Predator"-like clicks, then stabbing violence) make the movie gruesomely watchable.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Sep 18, 2014
    75
    As incomplete as the narrative is, The Maze Runner delivers on almost every other level.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 18, 2014
    75
    First-time feature director Wes Ball's version of The Maze Runner makes the cliches smell daisy-fresh.
  8. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Sep 17, 2014
    75
    If you’re going to treat your audience like a rat in a maze, it’s best to offer a tastier reward than the promise of more maze to come.
  9. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Sep 15, 2014
    75
    Wes Ball's background is in animation and effects, and he certainly has an eye for composition. Thankfully, he doesn't just lean on visual flash in his debut feature, the adaptation of the first of James Dashner's four books, and his skills allow him to build a convincing world around his appealing cast without losing them in it completely.
  10. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Sep 18, 2014
    72
    For a genre that so often sacrifices character development and smaller narrative developments, the majority of The Maze Runner feels quite refreshing and worth the navigation.
  11. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Sep 18, 2014
    70
    The Maze Runner only answers some of the questions it so marvelously sets up. And while I probably now know too much about the story for it to work a similar magic next time, I find myself genuinely anticipating the next one.
  12. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Sep 19, 2014
    67
    The first two-thirds of The Maze Runner are a clever feat of fantasy world building. It's thrilling, twisty, and as mysterious as the mammoth Skinner Box environment the film takes place in. But the promising set-up raises so many puzzle-piece questions that when it's all finally explained in the final reel, you can't help feeling a bit gypped.
  13. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 19, 2014
    63
    It's bleak business, and as it hurries toward its explosive, expository conclusion, the film becomes nonsensical, too.
  14. Reviewed by: Christy Lemire
    Sep 18, 2014
    63
    What’s intriguing about The Maze Runner – for a long time, at least – is the way it tells us a story we think we’ve heard countless times before but with a refreshingly different tone and degree of detail.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Larson
    Sep 18, 2014
    63
    A curious blend of our newly acquired taste for dystopia alongside a healthy sprinkling of Lord of the Flies, the film offers familiar pleasures without prompting the sense of having already been here before.
  16. Reviewed by: Cath Clarke
    Oct 7, 2014
    60
    Entertaining but never quite thrilling, this actually feels like the second film in a franchise, coasting along, but saving the best bits for the next episode.
  17. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    Oct 6, 2014
    60
    It’s a well-made adventure with great energy and considerable style, but it’s essentially a maze without an exit.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 19, 2014
    60
    It's also both intense and entertaining enough to leave audiences hungry for the inevitable sequel so clearly set up by its cliffhanger ending.
  19. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 18, 2014
    60
    No, there’s nothing new here. But sometimes it’s enough to be merely entertained, rather than amazed.
  20. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Sep 18, 2014
    60
    By establishing some of the Glade’s castes, rituals, and personalities, the writers make an incredibly contrived scenario seem a little more tangible. But once that high gear is engaged, the IQ and ambition drop precipitously.
  21. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Sep 9, 2014
    60
    Aside from some uneven handling of the cast, Ball competently styles the action sequences throughout the film and capitalizes on his VFX expertise with pulse-pounding scenes tracking the Runners through the Maze battling Grievers.
  22. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Sep 9, 2014
    60
    As world-creation YA pictures go, The Maze Runner feels refreshingly low-tech and properly story-driven.
  23. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    Sep 9, 2014
    55
    For its first half or so, The Maze Runner tells a captivating tale of survival and weaves a potentially interesting mystery. Once its path become clear, however, you realize this is a puzzle you've worked out before.
  24. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 18, 2014
    50
    Despite a strong opening and riveting first 45 minutes, The Maze Runner devolves into one of the weakest post-apocalyptic Young Adult movies to reach theaters in recent years.
  25. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Sep 18, 2014
    50
    The Maze Runner isn’t based on a video game, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. In it, our hero must lead his comrades through a dingy gray concrete maze while dodging cyborg monsters, and it all looks like every gaming trailer you’ve ever seen.
  26. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Sep 18, 2014
    50
    Ball tends to slice and dice action sequences in a way that drains them of energy, and his attempts to churn up emotion fall disconcertingly flat. But he does stage a couple of effective adrenaline-pumping chases through the maze's industrial wasteland.
  27. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Sep 18, 2014
    50
    A perfectly serviceable entry in the young-adult dystopian sweepstakes.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 18, 2014
    50
    Maze Runner feels only partially formed.
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Sep 18, 2014
    50
    Think “Lord of the Flies,” without all the jerks.
  30. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Sep 19, 2014
    40
    The Maze Runner is so bleak that it almost convinces us to take it seriously.
  31. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 18, 2014
    40
    The look of the film is impressive enough, but the performances are merely OK. The same goes for the story.
  32. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Sep 18, 2014
    40
    The Maze Runner is not a good movie, but it wins points for omitting much of what makes typical teen films excruciating.
  33. 38
    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.”
  34. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Sep 18, 2014
    25
    Fans of the novel might get some minor thrills from the big screen adaptation, but it's hard to understand what made the material so popular in the first place.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 370 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 107
  2. Negative: 19 out of 107
  1. Oct 11, 2014
    2
    I've been sooo disappointed by this movie. I read the book and it IS amazing: it goes deep in topics and feelings, it makes the reader thinkI've been sooo disappointed by this movie. I read the book and it IS amazing: it goes deep in topics and feelings, it makes the reader think about important topics of life somehow. I actually guess that the movie will be nice for those who didn't read the book because it is an avarage movie with action and suspense.... but, man... this is nothing compared to the books. Dashner is a real genius for what he wrote and for the way he wrote it but the movie just ruined the mystery of the book. Through the pages, you learnt together with the Gladers to know the place around you and you came to understand it and eventually you figured out all the secrets of the Maze. This way, the movie lost the magic and transformed everything in a medium quality thing. The characters are wrong (almost all of them but Newt and partly Thomas), the values are wrong, the philosophy that rules the Glade and the Maze is wrong.. not to talk about the riddle to escape... I will stop here... The movie really sucks if compared to the book. Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2014
    10
    I wasn' expecting much until the ending, and altough the cinema was very empty this did turn out to surprise me slightly in the ending whenI wasn' expecting much until the ending, and altough the cinema was very empty this did turn out to surprise me slightly in the ending when you expect everybody to be either dead and the survivors barely figure out their situation. This is going to be an episodic like Twilight but with a different kind of story/premise. Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2014
    0
    A stupid movie dressed up with a lot of sound and fury. It makes extensive use of a new device among bad movies/shows: pretending to beA stupid movie dressed up with a lot of sound and fury. It makes extensive use of a new device among bad movies/shows: pretending to be interesting by leading you on with mystery, and when it gets to the end you can tell the explanation was haphazardly slapped together after the mysterious elements and not before. It pretends to be smart, but is unaware of how stupid it is. I'm going to go ahead and call this "Fake Science Fiction". Full Review »