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The Maze Runner (2014)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 114,446 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 311 user | 223 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.

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Title: The Maze Runner (2014)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ben
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Jeff
Randall D. Cunningham ...
Clint
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Masked Man
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Storyline

Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "The Glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through the Maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Written by KelseyJ

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El corredor del laberinto  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$32,512,804 (USA) (19 September 2014)

Gross:

$101,620,756 (USA) (12 December 2014)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To gain the role of Chuck, actor Blake Cooper continuously campaigned for an audition via twitter. He would send director Wes Ball tweet after tweet after tweet stating that he was made for the role. Wes Ball eventually relented and told Cooper to send his audition to the casting director who stated that Cooper was the perfect Chuck. See more »

Goofs

In the middle of the film we see all of the gladers taking shelter as it is raining hard as a storm passes over, but then at the end of the film we see that the maze is set in the middle of a desert and by looking at the dusty remains of the buildings it is clear that it has not rained for a long period of time. See more »

Quotes

Ava Paige: I am sure by now you all must be very confused... angry, frightened. I can only assure you that everything that's happened to you... everything we've done to you... it was all done for a reason.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A tense, entertaining film with enough thrills and drama to cover up its narrative inadequacies.
11 September 2014 | by (http://shawneofthedead.wordpress.com/) – See all my reviews

It's rare for a big movie studio to trust the future of a potential blockbuster franchise to a brand-new director. You'd imagine that there would be just too much at stake when it came to translating James Dashner's series of best-selling dystopian novels to the silver screen. But it's easy to see why Wes Ball got the job - with this one film, he graduates from short films to blockbuster movies with flair to spare. Indeed, The Maze Runner is such a cool, confident and thrilling blend of action beats and character work that it's hard to believe Ball has never before commandeered a full- length feature film. It's true that the narrative gets a little away from him by the end, making less sense as more secrets are revealed. But this is more a problem with the source material than Ball's own skills as a director.

Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) finds himself thrust rudely into the world of the Glade: a community of boys who have figured out how to live while encircled by a giant, constantly changing maze, within which dwell giant, boy-eating monsters known only as Grievers. Many of the boys, including benevolent pioneer Alby (Aml Ameen) and champion of the old ways Gally (Will Poulter), are content with just surviving day to day. Thomas winds up unsettling the entire camp with his refusal to follow the rules and determination to ask questions: he wants to explore the Maze with designated runners like Minho (Ki Hong Lee), and figure out a way to get free. Life in the camp gets more complicated when, weeks before the next boy is due to be sent up to the Glade, a girl in the form of Theresa (Kaya Scodelario) arrives instead.

There's a lot of blockbuster potential to be squeezed out of this premise, and Ball does so quite wonderfully. The Maze encircling the Glade is a stonily grey, massive enclosure, and the Grievers - when the boys encounter them in increasingly close quarters - are odd marvels made as much of machine as flesh. Ball cuts scenes of great, heart-stopping tension together masterfully: whether it's Thomas running through walls that are fast closing in on him, or Thomas and Minho trying to outrun a Griever while burdened with an unconscious Alby.

The film even finds some welcome dramatic depth in this strange little community of lost boys in the Glade - Thomas' growing antagonism with Gally is balanced against the mutual respect he and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) develop for each other, and the brotherly connection that he forges with the adorable Chuck (Blake Cooper). The politics of the situation is fascinating as well: as much as The Maze Runner is about, well, running for your life in a giant maze, it also raises big questions about identity and integrity. Is safety and security worth giving up your right to information and choice?

What works less well is the secret around which the Glade is constructed. As viewers, we aren't given a whole lot of answers about why the Glade and the Maze exists, nor do we get many explanations as to why Thomas is so different and insatiably curious. But the ones we do get - all centred around the mysterious, severe figure of Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) in some kind of control centre - oddly render the film and its characters less, rather than more, interesting. It's a strangely deflating experience to have the film's rich ethical dilemmas and intense action sequences give way to an underlying dystopian narrative that isn't really all that compelling.

Nevertheless, The Maze Runner remains quite an accomplishment. It's an assured, impressive debut for Ball, one with enough electric tension and moody drama to intrigue throughout its running time. His young cast is fully capable of carrying their own weight, with Poulter - morphing from comic sidekick in We're The Millers into hateful adversary here - the standout. Its story collapses a little into itself as it hurtles towards its climax, but Ball's work is quite enough to leave viewers excited by the prospect of the inevitable sequel.


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