We discuss 10 movies like The Maze Runner you must watch. Check out these well-recommended films and add them to your watch list.
In 2014, The Maze Runner captured the zeitgeist of the era with a thrilling young adult sci-fi movie based on the novel by James Dashner. The film starts with our lead Thomas in an elevator and arriving in an environment with a group of other teenage boys, all without past memories, trying to survive together. There are new additions to the group every thirty days, and the setting has been dubbed “The Glade.”
The current batch has been stranded here for three years, and the only escape is through the Maze surrounding their camp. However, they are also hunted by Grievers. Things look bleak, and when a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, their group starts to fracture. The boys divide into two camps, those trying to escape and those wanting to keep the status quo.
The film would receive some excellent reviews, and its box office success would lead to a continuation of the story in sequels. As is often the case with these sorts of franchises, The Maze Runner would come to a conclusion, but we know that there is a strong fan base out there for this kind of material, so here’s a list of films similar to The Maze Runner.
10 Movies like The Maze Runner you must watch
Ender’s Game (2013)
We start with an obvious entry here, and the feel and tone are similar to The Maze Runner. We are in a near future, and a vicious alien race has attacked Earth. The International Military needs to find a future leader who can save humanity. That leads us to Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young character recruited to join the elite and trained for a battle with the Earth as its prize. Some great effects and set pieces make this a must on our list.
Battle Royale (2000)
Now tonally, this has a more violent and disturbing aesthetic, but a plot here is comparable to our featured movie. The film follows a group of students from a Japanese high school that has to battle against each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act. With a jagged satirical edge and an often wry thought provoking sideways look at its subject matter, this is a classic and layered Japanese movie that has some gut-wrenching scenes that, despite its overt depiction of violence, will thrill fans of The Maze Runner.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Before The Maze Runner, there was The Hunger Games, and it would feel amiss not to include this top-rated franchise in the list. Once again, this series was based on a trilogy of novels and featured an exciting dystopian sci-fi concept; this time, televised battles to the death that would be so successful that film companies were frantically looking for similar concepts to make. Hugely influential and successful, the films would earn over $1.4 billion worldwide.
As mentioned, film companies were desperate to find the next The Hunger Games, and young adult fiction would be their hunting ground. This entry was based on the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth. This novel was once again set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. It would follow the story of Beatrice, born into one of the five factions of society and given the option to go to another one. With themes of acceptance and not fitting in, the film series received mixed reviews but was moderately successful. although tropes and clichés in the genre were starting to appear.
Before the young adult explosion, there were similar films to The Maze Runner; some came right out of the left field. Low-budget shocker Cube was a Canadian movie that would be a slow burner before finding its audience and spanning its small franchise. Plot-wise, we find a group of diverse people thrown together and trying to survive in a hostile environment, so you can see the similarities story-wise. However, the setting, a claustrophobic series of rooms that may or may not result in you being sliced and diced, is a nightmare of tension and suspense and is aimed at a mature audience. There would be a couple of sequels and a Japanese remake, but we still love the original best.
Mortal Engines (2018)
Philip Reeves was the novelist whose book was used in this slight misstep of an adaptation. Earth in the future is on its last legs, a trope often used in these sorts of movies, and the philosophy of “Municipal Darwinism” is in control. Giant mobilized cities to hunt to absorb smaller ones, and the subtext is quite clear, but this film version didn’t hit the mark with audiences; it bombed at the box office, but at least the author of the novel gave it his seal of approval.
The Fifth Wave (2016)
Another war-torn earth, another dystopian society, and another battle for survival take center stage in this sci-fi tale, based on another trilogy of books, this time by Rick Yancey. Cassie is trying to save her younger brother with the aid of a young man that may be her only chance to survive the deadly fifth-wave attack by the aliens. The film didn’t get much love from the critics, and there is a feeling that they were experiencing a kind of fatigue for the genre by 2016.
Boy 7 (2015)
We always like to have something on our lists that you may not have come across, so this is a Dutch movie with a great central performance from young Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen. Again, we have a protagonist waking with no memories, similar to The Maze Runner, and a mystery that unfolds as the movie moves on. Based again on a well-loved novel by Mirjam Mous, the film is told in flashbacks, and we follow Sam as he tries to uncover the deadly secrets of his past.
Here is another survival movie and the third part of a trilogy of sci-fi adventures that amassed its fan base over the course of thirteen years. First was Pitch Black, then The Chronicles of Riddick, and finally Riddick, starring grizzled road rage x*x-rated pacifier Vin Diesel, struggling on a scorched Earth, fighting hoards of alien monsters in a thrill ride of a movie that concludes with a race against time, and a threat from Riddick’s past.
Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
I doubt for a minute that when the first Mad Max hit our screens, they thought the story would still be going strong in 2015. However, director George Miller would bring us another entry in the franchise that would add new levels to the story. Having Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron on board probably helped make this a box office smash, and the story of Furiosa and Max trying to survive in the chaos of a manic broken future society may not have too much in common with The Maze Runner. Still, the action set pieces and adventure is too good not to mention.
Do you have any other recommendations for Movies like The Maze Runner? Let us know!
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