Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Post:
To wait a movie and a half for a big reveal and have it turn out to be a zombie plague is like waiting until March for your Christmas present, and it turning out to be a three-pack of white Hanes T-shirts.
The latest 'Maze Runner' movie succeeds well enough as derivative survival-horror-action thrillers go, but makes for an unsatisfying, confusing sequel.
After an hour and a half of mechanical 10-minute action cycles that start with, "Maybe we're safe now, for the moment," and end with "Aaaah! Run!" the pattern gets as wearying as the level of emotional brutality.
Director Wes Ball's film is a mad dash from one place to the next, with little time in between for rest, recuperation or plot development.
The movie may feel tonally consistent with the first, but it's also overlong and thoroughly routine.
The young leads lack charisma, and the veteran supporting players seem to be phoning it in.
Kevin P. Sullivan,
The Scorch Trials wanders between YA cliches - there's a Resistance, but it's unclear what they're resisting - and zombie movie tropes, with the obligatory a zombie bit our friend scene.
Lacks a ... sense of originality and urgency, undercut by overly familiar characterizations and dilatory pacing.
Los Angeles Times:
The first "Maze Runner" film was a wilderness saga refitted with robotic monsters. "The Scorch Trials" is a "Mad Max" film on foot.
The teen dystopian franchise continues to play rough, and now even rougher, with satisfying results.
New York Daily News:
Yes, these "Trials" go on too long. But they're never dull, and the kids are always good company.
New York Times:
The many chases and ludicrous narrow escapes offer respectable doses of adrenaline.
With minimal plot development and far too much running around in dark corridors, The Scorch Trials has a poor story:filler ratio. And much of what happens is poorly thought-out.
"Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" crams in more lore, supporting characters, backstories and motivations to the extent that it becomes difficult to get a grasp on anything.
This time around, the kids have been turned into wind-up figures whose only function - taking the title a tad too literally - is to RUN!
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Action overflows, some of it neatly staged but none of it telling us anything beyond "Go! Go! Go! Run! Run! Run!" Stay home, stay home.
Globe and Mail:
The sequel is terrible and all my original criticisms for the first film still stand, but at least it's a more entertaining kind of awful.
If it sounds like there isn't an original thought in The Scorch Trials' scripted head, you're right. But at least you won't be smacking yourself in the head trying to figure out what's going on.
Maze Runner's action, suspense and twists give movie fans of all ages a chance to embrace their inner on-the-run teenager.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
Essentially, The Scorch Trials makes up for the humdrum YApocalypse of its first half by going a little bonkers in its second.
There's no flare of strangeness or freshness here, just a pile of images and ideas stolen from smarter people's second-hand bin banged into each other for a numbingly dull 132 minutes.