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The Maze Runner Movie Review

Reviewed by on Sep 21, 2014
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the movie adapted from the popular post-apocalypse YA novel “The Maze Runner”. What’s changed and will newbies not aware of the novel’s story “get it”?

By: Lynn Barker

Waking up with no memory in a wooded area surrounded by gigantic metal walls, young Thomas is beyond freaked. Who are all these other young guys trapped here and what did they do to deserve this? If this is the worst video game ever, his avatar wants out!

The huge mazeThe huge mazeCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Waking to a New World

Young Thomas (“Teen Wolf’s” Dylan O’Brien) comes to consciousness in a wire elevator being raised into a green glade peopled by a lot of other young guys. He remembers nothing; at this point, not even his name. He tries to run then notices that a ginormous metal wall surrounds the glade on all sides. Leader of the “Gladers”, Gally (Will Poulter) tells him it’s a maze and the guys have been trying to escape for at least three years.

Newt (Thomas Sangster) finds unconscious Teresa in the boxNewt (Thomas Sangster) finds unconscious Teresa in the boxCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox


Gally sees Thomas as a threat to his power and doesn’t like him but Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) leader Alby (Aml Ameen) and youngest kid Chuck (Blake Cooper) like him fine and sense that he’s a born leader. He’s told that “Runners” enter the maze every day to find a way out. They almost never return and creepy creatures called Grievers who live inside the maze, sting them which results in a destructive madness.

Thomas, Chuck and Minho realize they have to enter the mazeThomas, Chuck and Minho realize they have to enter the mazeCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Attack and Arrival

Thomas is attacked by Ben, a guy who was stung by a Griever. The boys go by tradition and banish the sick Ben into the maze and certain death. Thomas has flashbacks and remembers a strange computer room and a girl he evidently knew there. Minho and Thomas go into the maze and encounter Grievers. With Thomas’s bravery and help, they find Alby and bring him back into the glade safely. Despite Gally’s objections, Thomas is made a Runner. When the elevator brings up Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the first girl to join the group, she has no memory but seems to recognize Thomas right away.

Gally (Will Poulter) challenges Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) to a fightGally (Will Poulter) challenges Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) to a fightCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

A New Discovery

After Minho shows Thomas a secret model of the entire maze and the fact that it rotates in sequence, the two go back in to find a new path through. Using a metal part that they took off a dead Griever, the guys do track a new escape route but have to run back to the glade or die. Teresa brought with her a syringe with blue fluid that the gang decides to inject into Alby who is dying from his Griever sting. It works.

Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) tries to talk Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) downThomas (Dylan O'Brien) tries to talk Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) downCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Grievers Everywhere

For the first time, the doors to the maze stay open at night letting in many Grievers. Many Gladers die fighting them and Thomas, Teresa, Chuck, Newt and others decide this is it! They are going back into the maze to find the escape route or die trying. After entering the maze and fighting through attacking Grievers, they make it through a portal and find the strange computer room/lab of Thomas and Teresa’s nightmares. There, the secret of the maze is revealed to them. Can they really escape? Is Gally out of the picture or will he challenge them?

Thomas is chased by a sting-mad BenThomas is chased by a sting-mad BenCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Thomas contemplates his next moveThomas contemplates his next moveCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Wrapping Up

I have not read the novel from which The Maze Runner was adapted but readers tell me that the opening is quite different but necessary to get the film started and move things along. The entire movie (almost 2 hours) moves at a good pace, pausing only for a little character bonding or explanation then it’s back into action.

Minho shows Thomas the maze modelMinho shows Thomas the maze modelCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The film’s effects are quite good. You really believe these guys (and girl) are trapped inside giant metal walls. Grievers are creepy-scary and the sound should be mentioned since it does a lot to suck you into the film and make it more believable.

Greenie Thomas is kept prisoner by the GladersGreenie Thomas is kept prisoner by the GladersCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Acting is all good, especially Will Poulter who really makes an impression as Gally. There is a light message in that these young guys have been prisoners so long that they have lost creativity and, although they still try to find a way out, they’ve succumbed to their own “rules” that limit them more than they know. It takes a feisty outsider or two to wake them up.

Gally (Will Poulter) checks the boys' names carved on a wallGally (Will Poulter) checks the boys' names carved on a wallCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The film’s ending isn’t very satisfying and is way more of a “Say what?” than an “Oh, I get it” with a lot of explanations that make zero logical sense (to go into them would create spoilers so I won’t). Just suffice it to say that you might be asking “Well, it they needed to do…blank.. did they really need to create….blank?”… stuff like that.

Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) meets Teresa (holding knife on him)Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) meets Teresa (holding knife on him)Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Despite an “iffy” ending, the film is set up for a sequel since there are two more books in novelist James Dashner’s trilogy. Creating another film will depend on the box office of this one. I’m sure it will entertain you but you might be left with some heavy questions so we go 3 stars.

The Maze Runner Movie Rating:3

The Maze Runner Movie PosterThe Maze Runner Movie PosterCourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The Maze Runner is in theaters now!