Some science fiction tales are so enrapturing that merely reading them does not satisfy the curiosity. Seeing those masterpieces transformed into movies and running on the silver screen helped improve the experience. Similar is the case of maze runner movies. Based on the novels of American author James Dashner, these films do justice to the dystopian sci-fi plot and are an absolute visual feast. So now, let’s have a quick glance at all the gems of this film series.
How Many Maze Runner Movies Are There?
The maze runner is a film trilogy. The first film was released in 2014 with the next two released in 2015 and 2018 respectively. The plot of these movies is set in a dystopian world where young people are sent to live in the Glade community. They have to survive in a giant maze that surrounds the glade and keeps changing shape every day. The toughest challenge to their survival is posed by a deadly creature called Griever that comes out mainly in the dark. It does not stop here as many more challenges await pushing beyond the limits in the game of survival.
All Maze Runner Movies By Their Release Year
The Maze Runner
Director: Wes Ball
Writers: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin
Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller
An unconscious teenager wakes up in an elevator that leads him to a green land called Glade. Several male youths welcome him, but he cannot recall anything about his past. He then comes to know about the gladers society caught inside a maze. They have assigned “runners” to find an exit before nighttime as the entrance closes.
Their leader Alby tells the teen that all the boys recall their names but not the past. Soon, in a fight with a glader Gally, the boy remembers his name as Thomas. Later, their designated runner Ben is stung by a cyborg monster Griever and left to die. The following day, Alby and Minho enter the maze to look for the escape route.
When Alby is stung, Minho drags him but fails to reach the entrance. Bewildered, Thomas runs into the maze, and all three are trapped for the night. They survive till the morning and come out when the first girl arrives in the elevator. She recognizes Thomas, but he has yet to learn. Meanwhile, Thomas recovers a beeping device with the number 7 from a dead Griever. He is also designated as the new runner.
Minho explains the systematic opening and closing of numbered sections of the maze through a model constructed from observations. Thomas now realizes the device corresponds with section 7, which was open yesterday.
Teresa gives an anti-venom injection to Alby, and he recovers. In the meantime, Minho and Thomas enter the maze with the beeping device, which activates several traps. The doors do not close that night, and Grievers enter the Glade, killing many. Thomas stings himself with a Griever’s stringer to recover his memory. While unconscious, he recalls that he and Teresa worked for an organization called WCKD, and the maze is a test, not a prison.
He wakes up and confesses everything he recalled when given the last anti-venom. By now, Gally thinks Thomas is responsible for mishappenings and is ready to sacrifice him and Teresa for peace. Other gladers side with Thomas and Teresa, set them free, and enter the maze to find an exit. Gally and a few other teens stay back.
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In the maze, all the gladers fight the Grievers. During some die of fatal wounds, the others reach a destroyed lab to find a video from WCKD official Ava Paige. She says the world is infected by a deadly virus flare and then tries to shoot herself. Stung by a Griever, Gally appears to attack Thomas, but Minho makes a last-minute save by staggering Gally with a spear. By then, Gally has already fatally shot Chuck. Masked armed men arrive to take along the survivors in a helicopter over a desert.
In the closing scene, the dead Scientists, including Ava Paige, declare their experiment successful. Now, the survivors have to enter Phase two.
Being the trilogy’s first movie, it successfully feeds the thirst for freshness through the plot. With the uniqueness of the storyline and incredible chemistry, the action and suspense keep you invested. At no point the movie gets boring, but it is sure to throw a bunch of emotions your way.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Director: Wes Ball
Writers: T.S. Nowlin, James Dashner
Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Thriller
A young boy Thomas and several other such children are handed over to scientist Ava Paige of WCKD. These children are used for testing and left to survive in a maze. A few years later, when Thomas and the remaining Gladers, Teresa, Newt, Minho, Frypan, Winston, and Jack survive, they are taken to a facility by a man named Mr. Janson.
He says the facility has protected these kids from Cranks (human zombies), flare-the deadly virus, and provided for their needs. Not only one but several mazes were created, and the survivors of each are now in the facility. Things seem suspicious to Thomas, who discovers from the first survivor Aris that Ava is alive, working with Janson and WCKD. They are testing immunes for virus cure and simultaneously looking for the rebel group Right arm, who have taken shelter in the mountains.
Seeing favorable circumstances, Aris, Thomas, and others flee to Scorch, where they encounter Cranks. Winston, a fellow, is infected and kills himself to prevent worsening symptoms.
Others continue their journey and reach an abandoned facility full of cranks. They meet two new members, Brenda and Jorge, who have kept Cranks as guard dogs. They take them to The Right Arm while WCKD raids the facility, which is then destroyed by Jorge’s explosives. While others leave, Thomas and Brenda trail behind, and she is infected by the virus too. Jorge investigates the location of the right arm, and the entire team arrives there.
A lady named Harriet recognizes Aris and takes Gladers to immunity camps. Vince, the leader of the right arm, greets everyone, but when Brenda’s infection worsens, he threatens to shoot her. Mary Cooper, ex-colleague of Ava Paige, stops him. She gives Brenda an enzyme cure revealing that it can only be taken from an immunes body and not manufactured. Since Ava wanted to manufacture a cure, Mary left WCKD due to the differences.
Things started getting slightly under control, but Teresa gave her location to WCKD, believing their intentions to be good. Soon the place is raided by WCKD, and Mary is shot dead with several other immunes. Ava takes Minho, Aris, and Sonya to experiment. With only a few survivors left behind, Thomas decides to team up to rescue his friends and end WCKD.
This sequel to the first movie is based on the novel The Scorch Trials. It keeps the interest of the first movie sailing with spot-on acting. The characters have their depth. The only part that might hit you as a reader is its storyline is much more different than the novel.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Director: Wes Ball
Writers: T.S. Nowlin, James Dashner
Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario
Genres: Adventure, Action, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Three remaining immune survivors, Thomas, Frypan, and Newt, join with The Right Arm Group to rescue immunes on a train of WCKD. They realize that their friend Minho is missing. Rather he is being taken to the Last city for experimentation to find a cure. Despite the denial of Vince, the leader of Right Arm, the trio leaves to save their friend. On their way, they are attacked by cranks, but Jorge and Brenda rescue them.
Upon arrival, they find walls constructed outside the city to prevent cranks from entering. People protest outside to be let in when WCKD opens fire at them. Meanwhile, people with gas masks arrest the trio, and one of the masked men is revealed as Gally, who survived Minho’s attack. He takes them to meet Lawrence, who guides them through a secret entrance into the Last city. Gally, Thomas, and Newt spot Theresa. Gally assures them to aid them in entering WCKD headquarters. Later, Newt reveals that he has been infected, and Thomas promises to find him a cure. They capture Theresa and start finding Minho. Theresa helps them escape.
She returns to research with a blood sample of Thomas she managed to collect. The boys reunite with Minho while Teresa finds that Thomas’s blood is a cure for flare and informs Ava. Gally saves the trio after he hands over serum and immune children to Brenda, who escapes with Frypan.
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Meanwhile, Lawrence arrives with rebels and sacrifices his life to let infected people enter the city.
Gally and Minho fetch the serum from Brenda while Newt gives a pendant to Thomas before becoming unconscious. A voice is transmitted throughout the city by Theresa asking Thomas to return to WCKD headquarters to prepare a cure to save Newt. Coming back to consciousness, Newt shoots himself to protect the rest.
When Thomas confronts Ava, a virus-infected Janson kills her and sedates Thomson to take him to WCKD. While Teresa prepares a cure, she overhears Janson telling him he is interested in curing only himself and others he considers worthy.
She immediately sides with Thomas and helps him flee with the rest before she dies in the building collapse.
The immune system and rest arrive at a safe place when Thomas discovers a note in Newt’s pendant. He wrote to Thomas to take care of the rest and thanked him for his lovely friendship. A grief-stricken Thomas let his friend’s message sink in with teary eyes.
As this is the last movie of the trilogy, ending on a positive note gives a light ending to this emotional rollercoaster. The cinematography was soothing, with impactful acting. It opens doors of imagination with plenty of visual effects, a well-laid plot, and a fast-paced action-adventure.
The Maze Runner films have given us some genuinely incredible characters, thought-provoking storylines, and a strong overall story arc. Fans of the series were riveted by Thomas’ struggle to find solace and freedom in the Glade, and we all can agree that these three films have been nothing short of amazing. The Maze Runner films are full of heart-pounding suspense and powerful moments of emotion, with each movie ending with incredibly impactful moments that leave audiences shocked and in tears. Whether it’s Teresa’s heartbreaking parting message to Thomas or Newt’s inspiring final words spoken before sacrificing himself for everyone else, these three movies certainly gave fans a lot to think about long after the credits rolled.