Maze Runner Movie Review

THE MAZE RUNNERBased on the best-selling novel by James Dashner, The Maze Runner follows a group of boys who live in the Glade, a grassy area boxed in by metal walls. Outside is the Maze, where the patterns change every night and terrifying monsters called Grievers plague the corridors. Our protagonist Thomas arrives and can’t remember anything except his name. And as soon as he enters this law-defined society, everything starts to change—a comatose girl appears, rules are broken, and chaos breaks out in the Glades.

It’s clear from the premise that this is not an easy film to make. With a fairly fresh-faced cast and a first time director, a million things could have gone wrong—and I’m happy to report that they didn’t. In fact, I can think of a million things done right: no romance, an electrifying pace, meticulous attention to detail, superb character development within a limited time slot, epic maze walls and fantastic performances from the young cast (Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Blake Cooper and Aml Ameen). Necessary changes were made to better adapt the novel, but other than that, the movie is a faithful, brilliant adaptation and everything a fan could possibly want.

As a massive long-time fan of the books, I knew how potentially intense some parts of the movie could be. Yet, to my surprise, the movie completely surpassed my already high expectations with moments of carefully drawn suspense even within the fast-paced beat of the film’s metronome. It’s not easy to surprise me when I know the entire plot, so standing ovation to director Wes Ball for keeping me sitting rigid throughout the entire film, bracing myself for the next bolt out of the blue. Ages 12+

A note to the parents: the Grievers are terrifying, gross, and vicious (everything that makes a perfect monster), so it may be intense for younger kids. Also, keep in mind that aside from being highly courageous athletes, at the end of the day Gladers are teenagers (so there are cuss words sprinkled here and there).


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on September 18, 2014, in Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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