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The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner (2014) | Trailer
Run Time: 113 min
Rated: PG-13 (For for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images.)
Directed By: Wes Ball

The Maze Runner looks, at first blush, like it might just be another dystopian young adult movie, like someone was just trying to cash in on a trend. Don’t let that make you brush it off, because this movie packs a serious punch. Once a month, an elevator brings supplies and a new guy to join a group of boys trapped in a maze. When Thomas shows up, everything starts to change. Thomas disrupts the way the boys have done things for years, and some of the members aren’t so happy with that. Thomas and the group need to piece things together and find a way to escape the maze and defeat the bests within it. The Maze Runner is so refreshingly dark, it plays more like a big budget thriller than it does a young adult movie. It sets itself apart from The Hunger Games and Divergent with its masterful creation of suspense throughout and intrigue at what happens in the rest of the series. The thing that really amazes me is that this movie is put together nearly by complete unknowns. There is no star power to be found in the cast, or even the director, and yet the performances, special effects, and writing are all almost flawless. I get why people are hesitant about it, we’re all a little tired of teens fighting against the man, but I think you’ll be glad with giving The Maze Runner a shot.
Bottom Line: It’s a familiar concept lately, sure, but The Maze Runner is an overall better film that keeps you guessing all the way through. There’s a chance for this series of films to really be great, so check this one out before it leaves theaters.
Rating: 4.5/5

So I bought the book about a month or so ago, with every intention to read it prior to seeing the movie. While I failed miserably (I didn’t even open it) I still really enjoyed the movie. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. Dylan O’Brien was really great as Thomas, the character that everything hinges on, yet seems pretty ordinary. I’m not sure how much detail the movie did or did not go into as far as in relation to the book, but I felt like it did a good job leading the audience and helping them understand what’s going on. As far as post-apocalyptic, sacrificing the children movies go, this was definitely the most intense.
Bottom Line: I’m excited for the next parts to follow, and to actually read the book!
Rating: 4/5

If I could, I would re-title this movie “What the hell is that?!” because the main character says it a minimum five times. It’s the classic trope of Naïve Newcomer.  Thomas is dropped into a world where there’s only teenage boys trapped in a maze. Each day they run through the maze in hopes of finally escaping. They have a perfectly set up order, managed by the first boy Alby. Thomas (being our protagonist and obvious chosen one) starts asking questions. What are the noises? Why should I stay out of the scary maze? Why can’t I do whatever I want even though I’ve only been for one day and I’m clearly an idiot?
Great addition to the Young Adult genre. It definitely adds more suspense, stress, and creepiness than some similar movies in the last year (Divergent, The Hunger Games). I was happy to see so many people of color with strong speaking roles. And a girl who wasn’t the romantic interest. The plot is intense and confusing. You can always tell when something is a book-to-movie adaptation by the weird pacing and the leaps of plot development.
Bottom Line: Wait until the sequels come out. Then all the crazy, sweaty-palm moments won’t be for naught when you’re left with a cliffhanger.
Rating: 3.5/5