About Maze Runner
Maze Runner is a dystopian science fiction film about a group of young men trapped in a maze and their struggle to get out alive. On the way they are faced with numerous obstacles like the maze itself rotating it’s routes and genetically engineered monsters. Because of all the running, by the time you’ve finished watching it you’ll feel like you’ve done two hours of cardio. And if there’s one thing we can agree upon, it’s that cardio sucks!
During a recent re-watch of Maze Runner I started to think of other movies like Maze Runner. Below is our picks of non-stop adrenaline fueled dystopian action flicks to add to your bucket list. Let us know on social media which are your favorites.
1. Enders Game (2013)
Directed by Gavin Hood, Ender’s Game stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin. It was released in the year 2013.
Ender’s Game is a futuristic science fiction movie about a gifted child who is sent to military academy as everyone prepares an upcoming alien invasion.
2. Love and Monsters (2020)
Directed by Michael Matthews, Love and Monsters stars Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Dan Ewing, and Michael Rooker. It was released in the year 2020.
Love and Monsters is a post-apocalyptic film where the world is inhabited by kaiju-sized monsters. It’s part science fiction, part action and all heart. It’s about character Joel Dawson who gets separated from his girlfriend Aimee and will do anything he can to be reunited with her. Even if it means getting eaten alive.
3. Ready Player One (2018)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One stars stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. It was released in the year 2018.
Ready Player One focuses on a futuristic world where most of humanity uses a virtual reality simulation called The Oasis. However, it is run by an evil corporation who wants to profiteer from the players. The plot focuses on a teen orphan (played by Tye Sheridan) who discovers clues to a contest which promises the winner total control and ownership of The Oasis.
RELATED: 25 Movies like Ready Player One
4. Divergent (2014)
Directed by Neil Burger, Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Maggie Q, and Kate Winslet. It was released in the year 2014.
Divergent is about a dystopian society where, at the age of 16, each teenager is forced to undergo a serum-induced psychological aptitude test. The results then dictate which of 5 factions they will then be a part of. The film follows Beatrice Prior, born into the Abnegation faction, who along with others rebel against the system they’re born into.
5. Chaos Walking (2021)
Directed by Doug Liman, Chaos Walking stars Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, and David Oyelowo. It was released in the year 2021.
Chaos Walking follows a young man who lives in a dystopian world without women, where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in streams of images, words and sounds, called “Noise”. Then when a woman crash-lands on the planet, he does everything he can to try and protect her from danger.
6. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 10 Cloverfield Lane stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. It was released in the year 2016.
10 Cloverfield Lane is the second film in J.J. Abram’s Cloverfield franchise and is set in an underground bunker in rural North America where the owner of the bunker has somehow managed to survive the events depicted in the first Cloverfield film.
John Goodman plays the owner of the cabin and comes across as an obsessive end of the world conspiracy junkie and doomsday prepper who will do anything to keep his two guests captive. Unfortunately, at the end of the film he’s proven to be right about the “aliens.”
7. The Hunger Games (2012)
Directed by Gary Ross, The Hunger Games is a dystopian science fiction action film based on novels of the same name. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. It was released in the year 2012.
The Hunger Games is set in the future in the nation of Panem, where a boy and a girl from each of the nation’s 12 Districts are chosen annually as “tributes” and are forced to fight to the death in ‘The Hunger Games.’
8. The Darkest Minds (2018)
Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, The Darkest Minds is a survival superhero thriller starring Amanda Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Mandy Moore, Patrick Gibson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech, Bradley Whitford, and Gwendoline Christie. It was released in the year 2018.
The Darkest Minds is set in a world where a contagious kills 90% of children and leaves those who survive it with strange and unusual abilities. The surviving children are then imprison for “their own safety.” This film is about a group of children breaking out of prison and being on the run from the authorities who seek to capture and re-imprison them. If you’re getting X-Men vibes then you’re bang on. This is basically Mutants for Kids.
9. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Directed by Wes Ball, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, and Patricia Clarkson. It was released in the year 2015.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is the second film in the Maze Runner trilogy and follows the events after Thomas and his fellow Gladers escape the World Catastophe Kill Department (WCKD). From there they’re taken to a facility and told they’re immune to the deadly Flare virus but they soon learn this facility is also run by the WCKD who want to conduct experiments on them. They escape and, after dealing with various obstacles including zombified infected humans, they meet up with a freedom fighter group called The Right Arm and begin to plan their next move.
10. The Fifth Wave (2016)
Directed by J Blakeson, The Fifth Wave stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, and Liev Schreiber. It was released in the year 2016.
The Fifth Wave is about an alien invasion of earth where the aliens use a number of techniques to easily destabilise world governments and allow for an easier take over. The techniques range from creating tsunamis and other natural disasters to taking human hosts to unleashing a flu-like pandemic. These are all done in “waves.” Whereas, the “fifth wave” is when the humans decide to fight back.
RELATED: 30 BEST SCI-FI HORROR MOVIES
11. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. It was released in the year 2013.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the first sequel in The Hunger Games franchise and follows the first movie, with the storyline taking place a few months after the events of the first film. In it, Katniss gets involved in another round of Hunger Games and this is set against her constant feeling that there’s a rebellion brewing between the Districts against the Capitol.
12. Insurgent (2015)
Directed by Robert Schwentke, Insurgent stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet. It was released in the year 2015.
The second film in the Divergent franchise, Insurgent follows Tris and Four, her Dauntless instructor, as they’re on the run. Meanwhile, thanks to the events in the first Divergent film, the five factions and the faction system as a whole are collapsing and many power players are making moves to gain overall control.
13. The Host (2013)
Directed by Andrew Niccol, The Host is a science fiction thriller starring Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, Max Irons, Frances Fisher, Chandler Canterbury, Diane Kruger, and William Hurt. It was released in the year 2013.
The Host is about an alien race of parasites (called “souls”) that has conquered earth by taking human hosts. One human on the run, Melanie, is captured and implanted with an alien “soul” whose plan is to access her memories and learn of the location of the remaining humans without “souls” implanted in them. Eventually, however, the Melanie and her “soul” become friends and it eventually switches sides, beginning to work with the human resistance.
14. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. It was released in the year 2014.
The third film in the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 follows Katniss closely as she’s turned into a symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol as she’s drawn into yet another Hunger Games bout.
15. Oblivion (2013)
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Oblivion is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Melissa Leo. It was released in the year 2013.
Oblivion focuses on a lone maintenance technician who has almost completed his mission on an Earth completed decimated from an alien war. Completely alone, or so he thought, the maintenance tech discovers woman who survived when her space ship crashed into earth. Together, they do what they can to survive and along the way they discover the truth behind the war with the aliens.
16. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Directed by Doug Liman, Edge of Tomorrow is a science fiction action film starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Brendan Gleeson. It was released in the year 2014.
Edge of Tomorrow focuses on a Major William Cage, who is a public relations officer, forced by his superiors to join a landing operation fighting off a battalion of aliens. During the mission, however, he gets caught in a time loop when he’s exposed to the aliens’ tech and keeps reliving the same doomed mission over and over.
There’s no better example of sci-fi action Groundhog Day than Edge of Tomorrow.
17. World War Z (2013)
Directed by Marc Forster, World War Z is an apocalyptic zombie surivival horror film based on the book of the same name by Max Brooks. It stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, and Matthew Fox. World War Z was released in the year 2013.
The plot focuses on a former United Nations Investigator who’s trying to find a solution and cure to a zombie apocalypse that is sweeping the world and taking down city after city. While most zombie films end with everyone dying, this one ends with the discovery of a pathogen that can disguise humans from the zombies, allowing the surviving characters to escape and fight another day.
18. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. It was released in the year 2015.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 picks up immediately after the first Mockingjay movie. With The Hunger Games mostly behind her, Katniss heads to the Capitol with Peeta, Gale, Finnick, and other members of the rebellion – to kill President Snow.
19. The Colony (2013)
Directed by Jeff Renfroe, The Colony is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film starring Kevin Zegers, Bill Paxton, Charlotte Sullivan, Dru Viergever, Atticus Mitchell, John Tench, Lisa Berry, Julian Richings, and Laurence Fishburne. It was released in the year 2013.
The Colony is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film focusing a group of survivors who have lived in Colony 7 since the world’s temperature reached extreme temperatures due to non-stop snow. After receiving a distress signal from a nearby colony, a team of Colony 7 survivor go to check it out. When they arrive they encounter a murder scene, a less than forthcoming leader of the colony and a group of bloodthirsty cannibals.
All is not well in Colony 7, it would appear.
20. Extinction (2018)
Directed by Ben Young, Extinction is a science fiction action film starring Michael Peña, Lizzy Caplan, Mike Colter, Amelia Crouch, Erica Tremblay, Israel Broussard, Lex Shrapnel, and Emma Booth. It was released in the year 2018.
Extinction focused on the character Peter, who is an engineer that lives an relatively uneventful life, and has nightmares of the end of the world. One day these alien looking shock troops descend from the skies and start slaughtering everyone in the streets.
I won’t ruin the ending but suffice to say the “humans” start to fight back until Peter makes a startling discovery about the “aliens” that are slaughtering everyone, his family and his friends. Trust me when I say you won’t see the twist coming.
21. Mortal Engines (2018)
Directed by Christian Rivers, Mortal Engines is a post-apocalyptic steampunk film starring Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. It was released in the year 2018.
Mortal Engines is set more than a thousand years in the future in a post-apocalyptic world where these steampunk-looking gigantic mega cities known as “Predators” are mobile and spend their time looking to attack and consume other cities that are smaller than them for fuel and resources.
The city of London is on a rampage consuming all in its wake and apprentice historian Tom Natsworthy will do whatever he can to ensure no more innocents get hurt.
22. Allegiant (2016)
Directed by Robert Schwentke, Allegiant is a post-apocalyptic science fiction action film starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Bill Skarsgård, Octavia Spencer, and Naomi Watts. It was released in the year 2016.
Allegiant is the third and final film in the Divergent film series and, unfortunately, it was the last – due to the fourth film being cancelled. It follows Tris and her small group of friends escaping over the wall that enclosed Chicago. Once outside, however, they discover new truths such as learning that the creation of Chicago was just one big experiment of trying to achieve genetic purity.
23. Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)
Directed by Wes Ball, Maze Runner: The Death Cure stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Walton Goggins, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson. It was released in the year 2018.
The last film in the Maze Runner franchise, Maze Runner: The Death Cure involves Thomas and his fellow immunes breaking into the ultimate WKCD stronghold to rescue one of their own. Despite the bad reviews, there’s an epic finale which I won’t spoil you about but it resolves all the character arcs and goes out with a bang!
What did you think of this list of ‘Movie like Maze Runner’?
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