Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
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.
New York Post:
"The Maze Runner" isn't based on a video game, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
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.
Like Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit-tentialism, but more crowded and with the musk of bottled-up testosterone.
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.
The Maze Runner bucks the conventions of its genre by functioning as a pure cliffhanger machine, fueled by mystery instead of melodrama.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
Though it sometimes feels calculated and mechanical, it's also solid, well crafted and entertaining.
It does leave you wanting to see the next installment. And that's one special effect that very few YA movies ever pull off.
New York Daily News:
Director Wes Ball and his outstanding young cast work unusually hard to counter the derivative feel.
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.
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.
It's bleak business, and as it hurries toward its explosive, expository conclusion, the film becomes nonsensical, too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's burdened with banal dialogue and a laughably dumb endgame that squeezes the life out of its superior parts.
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.
Teenagers are getting it in the neck again, in the latest dystopian Young Adult literary sensation to get the Hollywood treatment.
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.
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.