The Maze Runner – film review

"The Maze Runner" movie poster.
“The Maze Runner” movie poster.
I read The Maze Runner book shortly after it was published back in October 2009. It was very compelling and kept me interested all the way through. When I heard there was a film, I was very excited, and also a little worried that the director wouldn’t know how to capture the book for the silver screen. I needn’t have worried.

Thomas finds himself sent up to The Glade, a large clearing within a very large labyrinth, and he has no memory of anything other than his name. He finds out a new boy is sent up every month for the last three years, and there are dangerous “Greivers” in the maze which have killed some of them over time. Everything is thrown into chaos when the newest person is sent up only a few days after Thomas, and she’s a girl.

The attention to detail in The Maze Runner was amazing. The director, Wes Ball, worked to include everything possible from the book, and to maintain the feel of the book throughout the film. I remember what I imagined while reading the book, and Bell improved on that many times over. The result was spectacular.

Dylan O’Brien played an excellent Thomas. He felt real and was spot-on as the protagonist. He was complemented by excellent performances put in by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt), who did an amazing job bringing both a seriousness and a light-heartedness which helped emphasize the reality of their situation in the Glade.

Kaya Scodelario did a good job, though I had a hard time thinking of her as a teenager; she just didn’t look young enough. I also appreciated Will Poulter as Gally, the somewhat paranoid and hard-to-influence enforcer; his eyebrows were amazing, and only served to enhance his role.

My favorite performances, however, were from three secondary characters: Blake Cooper, as the youngest Glader, Chuck, was a bright light in the film as he brought a youthful optimism to his character. Aml Ameen, who played Alby, brought a comfortable maturity to his role as a father figure to all of the other Gladers. Finally, Ki Hong Lee was an excellent choice as Minho, the lead runner. He also brought a maturity and careful thoughtfulness to his role that really brought me into the story.

I was very pleased with this adaptation of The Maze Runner. It took an excellent book and turned it into an excellent film. I strongly recommend this film to everyone, and I am looking forward to the sequel later this year.

Release Date: September 19, 2014 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13

MySF Rating: Four point five stars
Family Friendliness: 70%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief underage moonshine drinking)
Language: 2 (infrequent mild and stronger expletives, some made-up)
Nudity: 0
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 4 (some brutal violence, fisticuffs, multiple deaths, extreme peril, some graphic depictions)


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