The Maze Runner 2014

Critics score:
64 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times: A well-acted and intelligent thriller/futuristic sci-fi romp. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: I think I have a touch of apocalepsy -- excessive sleepiness caused by prolonged exposure to three- and four-part series in which adolescents rebel against oppressive governments represented by esteemed actors. Read more

Sara Stewart, New York Post: "The Maze Runner" isn't based on a video game, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Read more

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times: Rare is the movie based on a best-seller that is vastly superior to the book that inspired it. "The Maze Runner" is just such a rarity. Read more

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: I was quite riveted. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Like Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit-tentialism, but more crowded and with the musk of bottled-up testosterone. Read more

Ella Taylor, Variety: As world-creation YA pictures go, "The Maze Runner" feels refreshingly low-tech and properly story-driven, based on James Dashner's popular 2009 fantasy novel. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: The Maze Runner bucks the conventions of its genre by functioning as a pure cliffhanger machine, fueled by mystery instead of melodrama. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Wes Ball's film version of the popular young-adult novel by James Dashner never makes much sense. Perhaps it would make more if you have read the book, but until they start handing out free copies before the movie starts, that cannot be a requirement. Read more

Ethan Gilsdorf, Boston Globe: Teens should eat up this fantasy's scenery-chewing angst and doom, and the hopeful tale of survival and empowerment (to be continued in the inevitable sequel or sequels). Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Having not read the book, I was hoping for a more satisfying payoff than the one I got. Then again, maybe the filmmakers are saving the answers for the sequel. Read more

Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter: Consistently engaging, although never outright challenging. Read more

Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times: Gets the vision and the grit of the source material but finally feels more like a long trailer than an involving movie. Read more

Amy Nicholson, L.A. Weekly: Is the true enemy this all-testosterone Lord of the Flies clan? Nah, faulting your fellow kids is so 1950s. For the millennials, adults gotta be to blame Read more

Tony Hicks, San Jose Mercury News: I couldn't help getting hooked by the combination of fine acting, intriguing premise and riveting scenery -- even if the story, at times, was a bit too easy. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Though it sometimes feels calculated and mechanical, it's also solid, well crafted and entertaining. Read more

Bruce Diones, New Yorker: It's all familiar territory, but it's realized with flair. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It does leave you wanting to see the next installment. And that's one special effect that very few YA movies ever pull off. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Director Wes Ball and his outstanding young cast work unusually hard to counter the derivative feel. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times: By keeping its cards so close, "The Maze Runner" remains compelling. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: Ball is deft, though, at evoking claustrophobia of every kind, whether in the open-air prison of the Glade or the actual tight spaces of the Maze. And he elicits a hair-trigger performance from O'Brien. Read more

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: There's a pleasantly low-fi, bare-bones kind of storytelling here, at least before the movie's mysteries are boringly explained - another apocalypse to parse. Read more

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

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: 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

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

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: The writers seem to have been reared in the "Lost" school of storytelling, happy to pile on three more questions for every answer. Read more

Cynthia Dickison, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Is there room at the multiplex for yet another entry in the young adult/dystopia/survival genre? Those who hunger for more could do worse than "The Maze Runner," based on the first book in James Dashner's trilogy. Read more

Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail: The premise seems both smart and intriguing, but the film directed by Wes Ball bears many of the cruder markings of YA fiction. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: It's burdened with banal dialogue and a laughably dumb endgame that squeezes the life out of its superior parts. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: It's an intriguing premise, at first anyway, but the more we learn about Thomas and Teresa's shared nightmarish memories, and the closer the movie gets to its requisite "to be continued" climax, the less interesting it all seems. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: Teenagers are getting it in the neck again, in the latest dystopian Young Adult literary sensation to get the Hollywood treatment. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: A sci-fi thriller set in a vaguely post-apocalyptic future must create a fully drawn universe to thoroughly captivate the viewer. But Maze Runner feels only partially formed. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Sure, "The Maze Runner" unravels a few mysteries, but it spins even more. Thomas, as it happens, isn't the only one dying of curiosity here. As the closing credits roll, you likely will be, too. Read more