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Top 10 Movies Like The Maze Runner

Updated on July 27, 2017
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

Thanks to the success of movies like The Hunger Games, YA novel adaptations are pretty popular these days. Based on the novel of the same name, The Maze Runner is the latest movie to join the craze.

Directed by Wes Ball, the story follows Thomas, a teenager who wakes up in an elevator with no previous memory. Stuck in a deadly maze with a few other teenagers, he must think of something very quickly.

Although its ambiguous ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered, the sequel answers most of them, while raising a lot more. Despite all its imperfections, The Maze Runner remains one of the best YA adaptations to this date.

While the critics are not united in their praise for this movie, it’s currently enjoying a reasonably good user rating on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. And if the box office figures are anything to go by, it suggests that most people loved it. Being a fan, I decided to take a look around and compile a list of some other movies you might like. Let's begin.

Ten Films Like The Maze Runner

  1. Divergent
  2. Dark City
  3. The Hunger Games
  4. Days of Heaven
  5. The Village
  6. Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
  7. Cube
  8. The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones
  9. Labyrinth
  10. Inception

1. Divergent

Divergent takes place in a futuristic dystopia where people are divided into different groups. As soon as one grows up, they have to go to one of the five different factions. This is based upon a test conducted to determine their eligibility. When a young girl learns that she is a Divergent—unfit for any factions—she must learn what sets her apart from the others. In a world that doesn’t take too kindly to Divergents, it’s not going to be easy.

I don’t get those people who are saying that this is a terrible adaptation. I have seen a lot of terrible ones, and this isn’t one of them. Given the nature and limits of film, some parts of the novel were left out. How much can you cram into a movie with a runtime of one and a half hours anyways? Some people claim that the books are way better. The fact is that the books are always going to be better than their cinematic versions.

Everything from the writing, casting, directing, and acting is executed strongly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is a work of art, but it’s still an incredible post-apocalyptic movie.

2. Dark City

The plot revolves around a man who wakes up with no memories whatsoever. Before he can come to terms with his situation, he learns that he is a wanted man. In a strange city where the sun never shines and everyone falls asleep just around midnight, he slowly realizes that there is something wrong with this place. Is he losing it?

Dark City is one of those horror/sci-fi movies that's hard to erase from your memory once you watch it. It doesn’t waste time in setting up a narrative or developing its characters. It starts with a bang right from the first moment. It has a twisting, mind-boggling conclusion that leaves you scratching your head.

3. The Hunger Games

Another YA novel adaptation on this list. You might think that I’m biased in my choices, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But we are talking about movies like The Maze Runner, so this entry shouldn’t be a surprise.

Taking place in a dystopian future, The Hunger Games revolves around the life of people from 12 districts under an oppressive regime. As a punishment for their rebellions in the past, one boy and one girl from each district are chosen to participate in the annual Hunger Games—a game where they are pitted against one another in a brutal, deadly battle. It ends with the death of all but one participant.

When a young girl is selected for the annual Hunger Games, her elder sister volunteers to take her spot, marking the beginning of the end of these games and the Capitol’s regime.

The first movie was a strong start to the saga. The successors, although not quite as good as the first film, didn’t disappoint either. The beautiful story concludes on a high note.

4. Days of Heaven

This entry is a strong example in the argument of film as art.

Days of Heaven is a story about a woman who marries her rich but dying boss just to claim his fortune. Will she and her farm laborer boyfriend live happily ever after?

This is one of those movies that still gets me every time I watch it (Yes, I have watched it a couple of times.) The pervasive sense of sadness and different emotions leaves you speechless. I haven’t seen this movie in quite some time, but I still want to write about it.

It’s difficult to pin down what makes this film so appealing. It all boils down to beautiful cinematography and haunting background music that gets better every time you watch it. Not to mention the memorable story with a few violent scenes here and there. This is a masterpiece in every way!

This is not a movie for everyone. Some people might argue that this is too different from a movie like The Maze Runner, but I vehemently disagree. These two movies have more in common than you think.

5. The Village

The Village takes place in a strange, isolated village surrounded by nothing but forest from all directions. There is a pact between the humans and monsters living in those woods. Humans won’t go to the nearby woods and monsters won’t enter the village. It essentially means that the villagers cannot go outside and interact with anyone else. Everything is working out as intended until one of them decides to go outside to get some medicine. All hell breaks loose as strange creatures start appearing in the village, terrorizing the small population.

Directed by none other than M. Night Shyamalan, there is a big twist in the end that leaves you speechless. You might see it coming, but it still takes you by surprise.

All in all, The Village is one of the best horror/survival movies out there.

6. Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Based on the second novel in the Maze Runner series, Scorch Trials continues from where we were left off in the first movie.

Our boys have finally escaped the deadly maze. Finally out of the labyrinth, they must face the unprecedented challenge of surviving in a strange, unknown landscape. Can they survive out there?

I think this movie is getting a lot of flak for its smallest mistakes. I thought everything from the pacing, cinematography, and acting was spot on. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole time until the credits began rolling. It’s easy to connect with and relate to both the old and new characters. All of the action scenes were well choreographed, and some amazing camera work sealed the deal.

You can’t really tell who stole the show with their performance, because everyone did their parts well. The narrative, while clear and easy to understand, wasn’t predictable. This movie deserves more credit than it has received. If you are looking for an enjoyable movie, why not give this sequel a shot? I would highly recommend it.

7. Cube

The plot of Cube is pretty similar to The Maze Runner. In both movies, the protagonist finds themself trapped inside a deadly maze with no apparent way to get out. However, the maze in this movie is much more claustrophobic and constricted. It consists of interconnected rooms that are the same small size. This film is also way more gorier and violent.

If you love Cube, you should check out the sequels as well. They are Cube 2: Hypercube (2003) and Cube Zero (2004).

8. The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones

The plot revolves around Clary Fray, a girl living in New York who realizes that she is a descendent of a demon-hunting family. When she learns more about the alternate world and its dangers, she decides to join the hunt with some more people of her kind.

I have not read the books, so I had no idea how this was going to turn out. Contrary to what some people were saying, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is nothing like Twilight. It dwells more on emotional drama and action than romance. This is more than a supernatural romance movie made for a young audience.

The first hour or so might feel a little long, perhaps a tad boring. Once the plot and characters are developed, things begin to unravel at a rather brisk pace. There is quite an info dump during the first hour. And to be candid, I didn’t really expect them to tie up all the loose ends. But the plot managed to make sense in the end.

If you are looking for a compelling and intelligent movie, City of Bones should be your best bet.

9. Labyrinth

Sarah is a mean little 16-year-old girl who has to babysit her baby brother. She wishes for her brother to be taken away. When her wish is granted by the Goblin King, she must find a way to get her brother back before he turns into a goblin. It must be done before midnight. Does she have enough time?

This is a classic fantasy movie that tells its young audience to be careful what you wish you. This is not to say that adults are not going to like it. Even if you’re over 18, Labyrinth won’t disappoint you.

The cinematography and camera work never ceases to amaze me. Remember, we are talking about a fantasy movie produced before the days of CGI. And when you take the goblin world into account, which makes up more than 90% of the movie, you realize how tedious it must have been to create each set in each scene.

If you’re looking for a classic fantasy movie, Labyrinth should be your best bet.

10. Inception

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception tells a story about a group of thieves who steal people’s ideas by entering their dreams. Things don’t go as planned when they’re tasked with planting an idea inside someone’s brain instead of stealing one.

We are talking about traps and labyrinths. It would be a sin to not talk about this mind-bending science fiction movie about dreams. The dream can be the biggest of the traps, especially when you don’t know whether you’ll ever wake up from it.

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