Movie Review: The Maze Runner

the maze runner movie poster

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade – a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up – the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Normally I want to see my-favorite-books-turned-into-movies RIGHT AWAY. As soon as they’re released in theaters. But I waited a little while for this one… and went to see it on my birthday, because all the trailers and previews looked AMAZING and so I thought, “Hey, you know what would make your birthday one-hundred-percent awesome? Seeing one of your favorite books turned into a great movie.”

And I was right.


This review is spoiler-free!

Just a note: This is less like a formal review and more like a jumbled collection of thoughts!


The Maze plays such a large role in the story that it’s almost like a character, isn’t it? I was SO EXCITED to see what the movie’s version looked like – and I was not disappointed. It’s HUGE. And CREEPY. And COVERED IN VINES. And now I’m out of adjectives. Just go see the movie if you haven’t already, all right? There’s no way I can possibly describe how fascinating (and intimidating) the Maze is.

the maze runnerAll of the Gladers looked suitably grubby and disheveled!

I know this sounds like a weird thing to be happy about, but consider the setting of the story. These kids are living on their own, and in a fairly rough environment. So of course they wouldn’t look super-clean!

It just made the movie even more believable, I guess. It drives me up the wall when the characters in adventure / survival / action / dystopian book-to-movie adaptations look A) clean all the time and B) like supermodels. If they’re supposed to be ordinary people who get into kind of a mess, then why don’t they look that way?

The movie’s plotline follows that of the book almost exactly.

I am a VERY tough critic when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations, but even I was satisfied by this film. I was worried that the movie would be all action and no substance, but that wasn’t the case. I was also glad that the filmmakers didn’t add a romantic subplot between Thomas and Teresa – YA dystopians love to include love stories.

I really think this is a movie you could enjoy without having read the book first! It wasn’t confusing, like… well, like most book-to-movie adaptations are. Yay!

I am SO EXCITED for the sequel film, The Scorch Trials!

Apparently the sequel will come out next September! Only a tiny glimpse of the Scorch is shown at the end of The Maze Runner movie, but that was enough for me. It looks exactly as described in the book – basically, sandy and windy and destroyed and terrifying. I CANNOT WAIT.

The film score was lovely.

Of course I have to talk about the music! The score (composed by John Paesano) was nice, but very much in the background for most of the film. And honestly? It wouldn’t have worked any other way. The music never overwhelmed any of the action scenes, never distracted from the very scary and serious parts.

Now I’d like to talk about three of my favorite pieces from the score!

This is “The Maze Runner.” Such a creative title, right? Anyway. It’s a neat action theme. It’s from the credits, I believe.

This is “Waiting in the Rain.” This piece reminds me of The Hunger Games‘ score, actually. It’s a very quiet, peaceful little composition.

This piece is called, simply, “Finale” and it’s so sad. And pretty. (And if you’re trying to listen to it and you think the video is broken – don’t worry, the song is just really really quiet in the beginning. Hold in there. Until about 0:56?)

If you listen to only one of the pieces mentioned here, let it be this one.

I just discovered that it’s harder to write spoiler-free reviews than I thought. I can’t talk about all the best parts because that would ruin the story for some of you. Well. I tried my best, didn’t I?

I was extremely impressed by The Maze Runner. I have seen very few book-to-movie adaptations that pleased me as much as this one did. Whether you’re a fan of the book or you know next to nothing about the story, I think you’ll enjoy this film!

Rating: 4/5


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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5 Responses to Movie Review: The Maze Runner

  1. I just read the book and though I didn’t LOVE it love it, I cannot wait to see the movie!!! I’m going on Wednesday with my family and I’m expecting it to be excellent. And an awesome film score is always a plus 😀

  2. Cait says:

    AFDJSAKLDSA YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I WANT TO WATCH THIS. I JUST CAN’T EVEN. I’m already fangirling to a ridiculous level and I haven’t even seen the jolly movie yet. *calms self slightly* I nearly didn’t read the review, but it said spoiler-free, so I went for it. 😉 Your reviews rock btw. I’m really happy everyone wasn’t super-clean too. That kind of stuff matters a lot to me, so I’m glad when movies actually do it right. ^-^ I’m just really glad it’s a good adaption. HUZZAH. I actually *whispers* bought a boxset so I’m reading The Scorch Trials asap. I AM SO EXCITED.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I knew that a bunch of my readers hadn’t seen the movie yet, and I wanted to fangirl with them anyway, so I thought I’d keep spoilers out of it. 🙂 Because I’m nice that way. xD

      Yay! I love that series. ^-^

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Memories Of 2014 | Musings From Neville's Navel

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