Reviews - The Maze Runner (2014)
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The Maze Runner (2014)

Country: USA, Canada, UK

Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Taglines: Get ready to run.

Director: Wes Ball

Writers: Grant Pierce Myers, Noah Oppenheim, James Dashner, T.S. Nowlin, ...

Stars: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dylan O'Brien, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, ...

Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "The Glade" for three years, trying to find a way to escape through the Maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys.

88 | 2014-09-18 | Bill Zwecker

Beyond the visuals, what makes The Maze Runner so compelling is its attention-grabbing storyline.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

78 | 2014-09-17 | William Goss

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.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | 2014-09-18 | Steve Persall

Director Wes Ball makes a solid feature film debut, without any noticeable video game envy to his action sequences.
Read More: Tampa Bay Times

75 | 2014-09-18 | Ethan Gilsdorf

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.
Read More: Boston Globe

75 | 2014-09-18 | Stephen Whitty

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.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

75 | 2014-09-18 | Michael O'Sullivan

As incomplete as the narrative is, The Maze Runner delivers on almost every other level.
Read More: Washington Post

75 | 2014-09-18 | Michael Phillips

First-time feature director Wes Ball's version of The Maze Runner makes the cliches smell daisy-fresh.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

75 | 2014-09-17 | A.A. Dowd

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.
Read More: The A.V. Club

75 | 2014-09-15 | Drew McWeeny

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.
Read More: Hitfix

72 | 2014-09-18 | Kate Erbland

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.
Read More:

70 | 2014-09-18 | Bilge Ebiri

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.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

67 | 2014-09-19 | Chris Nashawaty

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.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

63 | 2014-09-19 | Steven Rea

It's bleak business, and as it hurries toward its explosive, expository conclusion, the film becomes nonsensical, too.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

63 | 2014-09-18 | Christy Lemire

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.
Read More:

63 | 2014-09-18 | Richard Larson

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.
Read More: Slant Magazine

60 | 2014-10-07 | Cath Clarke

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.
Read More: Time Out London

60 | 2014-10-06 | Helen O'Hara

It’s a well-made adventure with great energy and considerable style, but it’s essentially a maze without an exit.
Read More: Empire

60 | 2014-09-19 | Mike Scott

It's also both intense and entertaining enough to leave audiences hungry for the inevitable sequel so clearly set up by its cliffhanger ending.
Read More: New Orleans Times-Picayune

60 | 2014-09-18 | Elizabeth Weitzman

No, there’s nothing new here. But sometimes it’s enough to be merely entertained, rather than amazed.
Read More: New York Daily News

60 | 2014-09-18 | Tasha Robinson

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.
Read More: The Dissolve

60 | 2014-09-09 | Justin Lowe

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.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

60 | 2014-09-09 | Ella Taylor

As world-creation YA pictures go, The Maze Runner feels refreshingly low-tech and properly story-driven.
Read More: Variety

55 | 2014-09-09 | Alonso Duralde

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.
Read More: TheWrap

50 | 2014-09-18 | James Berardinelli

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.
Read More: ReelViews

50 | 2014-09-18 | Sara Stewart

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.
Read More: New York Post

50 | 2014-09-18 | Sheri Linden

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.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

50 | 2014-09-18 | Ben Kenigsberg

A perfectly serviceable entry in the young-adult dystopian sweepstakes.
Read More: The New York Times

50 | 2014-09-18 | Claudia Puig

Maze Runner feels only partially formed.
Read More: USA Today

50 | 2014-09-18 | Peter Hartlaub

Think “Lord of the Flies,” without all the jerks.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

40 | 2014-09-19 | Amy Nicholson

The Maze Runner is so bleak that it almost convinces us to take it seriously.
Read More: Village Voice

40 | 2014-09-18 | Bill Goodykoontz

The look of the film is impressive enough, but the performances are merely OK. The same goes for the story.
Read More: Arizona Republic

40 | 2014-09-18 | Jordan Hoffman

The Maze Runner is not a good movie, but it wins points for omitting much of what makes typical teen films excruciating.
Read More: The Guardian

38 | 2014-09-17 | Roger Moore

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.”
Read More: McClatchy-Tribune News Service

25 | 2014-09-18 | Drew Taylor

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.
Read More: The Playlist