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Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 47
  2. Negative: 8 out of 47
  1. 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 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. Expand
  2. Sep 26, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Amazing movie! Very nice, thrilling from the begining till the end. Wow, when I see this movie, my heart beat faster and faster.. I guess the director was good in directing the stories. The character, the conflict, the tension.. Everything goes so smoothly. Although i wonder how the hell that Gally manage to get out of the glade and survived and sad ending when Chuck died. I can't wait to see the second movie, coz it's worth to watch. Expand
  3. Oct 15, 2014
    8
    "The Maze Runner" was a fantastic film, and though it differed somewhat to the novel, I was very impressed. Perhaps the best part was the Grievers (the mechanical/organic crab-like monsters that infest the Maze). They had been done in such a frightening way and really made you feel as if you were in the Maze alongside Thomas.
    Everything else had been done well - every intense sequence in the book had been done well in the movie, etc. There was one minor problem, however: acting - but only really with the characters of Teresa and Minho. Teresa was portrayed quite plainly, and should have been allowed to keep her native English accent for the movie. She was consistently slipping in and out of accents, some parts of her dialogue in American accent and some in English.
    Minho wasn't developed well enough for the audience to care about, in my opinion. His expressions were wooden and he lacked variation in his acting.
    The best character (in both acting and development) was Chuck, whose death would easily affect sensitive people. The relationship between he and Thomas was surprisingly well done, too.
    A fantastic adaptation that was miles better than the book.
    Expand
  4. Oct 17, 2014
    7
    Another YA dystopian novel movie adaptation?!? I’m starting to wonder if the market will become oversaturated with these films (though I doubt it). If you’re just looking for one nice movie to be entertained with, you might be disappointed with TMR because the movie ends with a cliffhanger and is the first in a quartet of books (and probably future movies). It has an interesting premise (Why are the Gladers in the Maze? Who put them there? Will they ever get out?), but to new moviegoers TMR might feel like simple franchise bait and will leave them with more questions than answers about the world of TMR. You might not get much closure.

    The Gladers are likeable characters, but they aren’t developed much and are too similar to familiar character archetypes. Thomas is an OK character, to be honest Newt and Alby are more interesting than he was. This is probably due to Thomas having no memories, and most of his scenes are ones that set up the series mythology and ones where he’s in fight and chase scenes. The rest of the Gladers don’t do much or are there only to advance the plot of the movie (but they’re likeable). You don’t focus on this much though as The Maze Runner is a very fast-paced book and movie. Thomas and the “Gladers” rush from one shocking event to the next dangerous chase, all while trying to find a way out of the Maze.

    Even though TMR only has a $34 million dollar budget, the movie still looks visually nice. I loved to see the Grievers, the Maze, the Glade, and the Gladers brought to life from the book! I think they were cast very well: Thomas, Teresa, Alby, Minho, Gally; they all look like I imagined them. To the disappointment of some action, effects-heavy, CGI explosion fans there are no super-big set pieces in TMR, and the fighting is pretty primitive (with almost no guns or heavy hand-to-hand combat sequences). But there’s still excitement with the chases from, and the fighting against the Grievers (bio-mechanical lizard/scorpion-like monsters). TBH the fight scenes could’ve been a bit more professional.

    There are a few small things changed from book to movie, but most help the movie become a smoother cinematic tale (albeit slightly cliché) and more understandable to those who don’t know all the info that comes with reading the books. However, others are quite unnecessary.

    The movie ultimately spends too long setting up future installments than fleshing out the characters, but it still has enough things going on for you not to get too bored. It’s adrenaline-fueled, suspenseful, and thrilling. I personally think the fight scenes could’ve been better choreographed and more exciting. Also, the characters really could’ve used more development. I think we should’ve got to known the Maze, Glade, and Gladers more because the movie is IMO too short.

    PS, for those of you that don’t know, a sequel to TMR (called The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials) is set be released on September 18, 2015 in the United States. Also, a second prequel book has been announced by James Dashner called “The Fever Code” (possibly to be released in 2016).
    Score for The Maze Runner: 7.4

    %%SPOILER ALERT%% Does it really make sense that, with an unlimited budget and support of the world’s governments, WCKD (or WICKED in the books) decided to make a maze of death in an attempt to find a cure for The Flare? If they wanted to study the brain patterns of the Gladers, couldn’t they put them under complex simulations (like in Divergent)? It’d be stupid if they hadn’t invented the technology, because they have “Transvices” and “Flat Trans” (mentioned in the other books) in their world. They have those futuristic devices, but not simulation serums? Also, why do they only measure the killzone (or brains’) reactions to negative things and dangerous situations? What about positive emotions/situations? Wouldn’t those have to be tested too? I personally think the government and scientists would’ve just exterminated all the infected and they all would’ve hid in some bunker. So I think that the Maze Runner is a bit implausible in that regard. But whatever.

    If you liked this review, please read my other ones on movies, TV shows, and videogames. I have reviewed 32 movies, including the 2014 films: Dracula Untold, The Maze Runner, The Expendables 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sharknado 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men Days of Future Past, Godzilla, Blended, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Divergent, Transcendence, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Blended, The Lego Movie, and more. I also review TV shows, such as: TNT’s The Last Ship, Fox's Sleepy Hollow, ABC's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, CW's The 100, Fox's I Wanna Marry Harry, NBC's Crisis, Fox's Gang Related, and more.
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  5. Oct 2, 2014
    6
    Good movie for what it was - a young adult book converted to a movie.
    Never read the book, and was surprisingly good.
    Worth a rent from
    Redbox or Netflix. Expand
  6. Sep 25, 2014
    5
    While it's not the best movie, it still follows in the footsteps of Hunger Games and Divergent. It's an ok teen novel made movie that's still worth seeing,if you're into that kind of thing. Expand
  7. Oct 13, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I did not read the book, so I didn't know what to expect except that it was a sci-fi story set in some type of post-apocalyptic world. Even though the movie was exciting, the lack of an explanatory ending ruined the entire movie...very little was explained...it was if if this was Part One! However, nowhere in the title did it say "Part One" I really felt cheated and unfulfilled. Expand

See all 47 User Reviews

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