Escape into Sci-Fi: Movies Like The Maze Runner

By Published On: May 23, 2024Last Updated: May 23, 20244199 words21 min read

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Movies Like The Maze Runner

Are you a fan of “The Maze Runner”? Do you enjoy movies that blend suspense, dystopia, and a hint of confusion? Well, you’re in for a treat! We’ve compiled a list of films that share similar, albeit exaggerated, traits with “The Maze Runner.” From labyrinths to memory loss and from sinister chefs to deadly office politics, these movies will have you laughing, cringing, and shaking your head in disbelief. Buckle up and prepare for a wild ride through our hilariously absurd movie recommendations!

Labyrinth (1986)

  • Description: In this classic fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, a teenage girl named Sarah (played by Jennifer Connelly) must navigate a mystical labyrinth to rescue her baby brother from the clutches of the Goblin King, Jareth (played by David Bowie). Along the way, she encounters whimsical creatures, mind-bending puzzles, and surreal landscapes, making for a visually stunning and emotionally resonant adventure.
  • Comparative Analysis: Like The Maze Runner, Labyrinth features a protagonist navigating through a complex maze, albeit in a fantastical and whimsical setting. Both films explore themes of growth, self-discovery, and the power of perseverance, but Labyrinth adds a touch of magic and wonder to the journey, creating an enchanting experience for audiences of all ages.

Boy 7 (2015)

  • Description: In this Dutch dystopian thriller, a young man wakes up on a subway platform with no memory of who he is or how he got there. As he pieces together fragments of his past, he discovers that he is part of a dangerous government experiment involving mind control and manipulation. Fueled by adrenaline and the desire for truth, he embarks on a thrilling journey to uncover his identity and evade capture by sinister forces.
  • Comparative Analysis: Boy 7 shares thematic similarities with The Maze Runner, as both films explore the themes of identity, memory loss, and the struggle for survival in a dystopian world. However, Boy 7 offers a darker and more psychological take on the genre, delving into the depths of human nature and the consequences of unchecked power. With its gripping plot twists and intense action sequences, Boy 7 is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

The Menu (2022)

  • Description: The Menu takes the concept of culinary competition to a whole new level. In this darkly comedic thriller, a group of aspiring chefs competes for the chance of a lifetime: cooking for an exclusive and enigmatic clientele at a remote luxury resort. However, they soon discover that the stakes are much higher than they could have imagined, as the diners have peculiar tastes and insatiable appetites for something far more sinister than gourmet cuisine. As the competition heats up and tensions rise, the contestants must navigate a treacherous culinary landscape where every dish could be their last.
  • Comparative Analysis: While The Maze Runner focuses on physical challenges and survival in a mysterious maze, The Menu offers a unique twist by blending elements of suspense, dark humor, and culinary artistry. Both films feature characters thrust into high-stakes situations where their skills, wit, and courage are put to the test. However, The Menu adds an extra layer of intrigue with its tantalizing blend of gastronomic thrills and psychological suspense, making it a must-watch for fans of culinary chaos and nail-biting tension.

Final Destination (2000)

  • Description: Final Destination introduces a chilling premise where a group of high school students narrowly escapes a fatal disaster after one of them has a premonition. However, their relief is short-lived as they realize that death is not so easily cheated. In a series of shocking and seemingly random accidents, the survivors discover that fate has a sinister plan for them, and they must race against time to unravel the mystery and avoid a gruesome demise. With its blend of suspense, supernatural elements, and unexpected twists, Final Destination keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until the very end.
  • Comparative Analysis: While The Maze Runner focuses on a group of teenagers trying to escape a deadly maze, Final Destination offers a different kind of survival challenge where the characters must outwit an unseen force intent on claiming their lives. Both films explore themes of fate, destiny, and the fragility of life, but Final Destination adds a supernatural element and a sense of relentless inevitability that sets it apart. With its inventive death sequences and spine-tingling suspense, Final Destination offers a thrilling ride for fans of heart-pounding excitement and unexpected twists.

Divergent (2014)

  • Description: In a futuristic dystopian society, society is divided into distinct factions based on personality traits. Tris Prior, portrayed by Shailene Woodley, discovers she’s Divergent, meaning she doesn’t fit into any single faction, which puts her life in danger. Tris must navigate a treacherous initiation process while uncovering a sinister plot that threatens the fabric of society itself. Filled with adrenaline-pumping action, heart-pounding suspense, and a touch of romance, Divergent offers a thrilling journey of self-discovery and rebellion in a world where conformity means survival.
  • Comparative Analysis: Like The Maze Runner, Divergent transports audiences to a dystopian future where young protagonists defy societal norms and face impossible challenges. Both films explore themes of identity, freedom, and the struggle against oppressive systems. However, Divergent delves deeper into the complexities of social hierarchy and individuality, offering a thought-provoking commentary on conformity and resistance. With its captivating storyline and strong performances, Divergent captivates viewers with its compelling characters and high-stakes drama, making it a must-watch for fans of gripping dystopian tales.

Ready Player One (2018)

  • Description: Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel, Ready Player One is set in a dystopian future where people escape their harsh reality by immersing themselves in the virtual reality universe called the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of challenges, with the winner inheriting his fortune and control of the OASIS. Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, joins the quest, competing against corporate villains and fellow gamers to uncover clues and win the ultimate prize. Packed with nostalgic references to ’80s and ’90s pop culture, the film is a thrilling adventure that celebrates gaming, friendship, and the power of imagination.
  • Comparative Analysis: Ready Player One shares similarities with The Maze Runner in its portrayal of young protagonists navigating a perilous world filled with challenges and obstacles. However, while The Maze Runner focuses on physical survival within a confined space, Ready Player One expands the scope to a vast virtual universe where the characters must solve puzzles and outwit adversaries. The film’s blend of action, adventure, and nostalgia appeals to audiences of all ages, offering a visually stunning and emotionally resonant journey into a world where anything is possible. Whether you’re a fan of video games, ’80s pop culture, or captivating storytelling, Ready Player One delivers an exhilarating experience that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Infinite (2021)

  • Description: Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Infinite is a sci-fi action thriller that follows Evan McCauley, played by Mark Wahlberg, a man haunted by disturbing memories he cannot explain. As Evan seeks answers to his fragmented past, he discovers that his visions are actually memories from his past lives. He learns that he is one of the “Infinite,” a secret group of individuals who possess the ability to recall their past experiences and skills. With the fate of humanity at stake, Evan must unlock his full potential and stop a rogue Infinite, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, from unleashing chaos upon the world. Packed with mind-bending action sequences and stunning visual effects, Infinite takes viewers on a thrilling journey across time and space, exploring themes of identity, destiny, and the power of the human mind.
  • Comparative Analysis: Infinite shares similarities with The Maze Runner in its exploration of identity and memory within a high-stakes, futuristic setting. While The Maze Runner focuses on a group of teenagers trapped in a deadly maze, Infinite expands the narrative to include themes of reincarnation and the limitless potential of the human mind. Both films feature complex characters grappling with their pasts while facing formidable adversaries, but Infinite adds a supernatural twist to the formula, introducing audiences to a world where memories hold the key to unlocking extraordinary abilities.

Escape Room (2019)

  • Description: Escape Room follows six strangers who receive mysterious invitations to participate in what they believe to be a fun and immersive escape room challenge. However, as they enter the intricately designed rooms, they quickly realize that the puzzles are not only challenging but also life-threatening. As they struggle to solve each puzzle and escape, they uncover a sinister conspiracy behind the deadly game and realize that their lives are in grave danger. Directed by Adam Robitel, the film combines elements of horror, thriller, and suspense to deliver a heart-pounding cinematic experience.
  • Comparative Analysis: In Escape Room and The Maze Runner, the characters are both trapped in a life-or-death situation where they must rely on their wits and teamwork to survive. While The Maze Runner focuses on navigating a physical maze filled with dangers, Escape Room presents a series of psychological challenges set within immersive environments. Both films explore themes of survival, trust, and human nature under extreme circumstances, but Escape Room adds an additional layer of mystery and suspense with its intricate puzzle-solving aspect. As the characters race against time to unravel the secrets of the escape rooms, viewers are kept guessing until the thrilling conclusion.

The Belko Experiment (2016)

  • Description: The Belko Experiment is a chilling thriller directed by Greg McLean and written by James Gunn. The film follows the employees of Belko Industries, a mysterious company located in Colombia. When the employees arrive at work one day, they find themselves trapped inside the office building, which has been sealed off from the outside world. A disembodied voice announces over the intercom system that the employees must participate in a deadly social experiment: they must kill a certain number of their colleagues, or else they will all be killed. As tensions rise and alliances form, the employees must grapple with moral dilemmas and confront their darkest impulses in order to survive.
  • Comparative Analysis: Similar to The Maze Runner, The Belko Experiment explores the theme of survival in an extreme and high-stakes environment. While The Maze Runner focuses on a group of individuals trying to escape a deadly maze, The Belko Experiment presents a scenario where ordinary people are forced to confront their own humanity in the face of horrifying violence. Both films challenge the characters—and the audience—to question the lengths they would go to in order to survive, and they both deliver intense and gripping stories.

Ender’s Game (2013)

  • Description: Based on the beloved sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game is set in a future where humanity is at war with an alien race known as the Formics. The story follows Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young boy who is recruited by the military to attend Battle School, an elite training facility for young cadets. Ender shows exceptional talent in strategy and leadership, quickly rising through the ranks and earning the respect of his peers. As tensions escalate between Earth and the Formics, Ender finds himself thrust into a series of increasingly difficult simulations and battles, ultimately facing the daunting task of leading humanity’s last stand against the alien threat.
  • Comparative Analysis: Ender’s Game and The Maze Runner both focus on young protagonists thrust into high-stakes situations beyond their control. Both stories explore themes of leadership, sacrifice, and the moral complexities of warfare. While The Maze Runner emphasizes physical challenges and survival instincts within the confines of a maze, Ender’s Game delves into the psychological and strategic aspects of combat training and interstellar warfare. Both films offer thought-provoking narratives that examine the nature of power, loyalty, and the consequences of one’s actions, making them compelling choices for fans of science fiction and dystopian storytelling.

Oblivion (2013)

  • Description: Oblivion is a visually stunning sci-fi film set in a post-apocalyptic Earth devastated by war with an alien race known as the Scavs. Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, one of the last drone repairmen stationed on Earth to extract vital resources. However, his mission takes a dramatic turn when he discovers a crashed spacecraft containing human survivors. As Jack unravels the truth about his past and the true nature of the war, he becomes embroiled in a conflict that could determine the fate of humanity.
  • Comparative Analysis: While The Maze Runner and Oblivion are set in vastly different worlds, they share thematic similarities, particularly in their exploration of identity, memory, and the quest for truth in a dystopian landscape. Both films feature protagonists who uncover hidden secrets that challenge their understanding of reality and their place in the world. While The Maze Runner focuses on the struggle for survival within a confined maze, Oblivion expands its scope to explore the broader implications of humanity’s struggle for survival in a desolate world. With its breathtaking visuals, compelling storyline, and thought-provoking themes, Oblivion offers an engaging cinematic experience that will resonate with fans of The Maze Runner and science fiction enthusiasts alike.

Death Bell (2008)

  • Description: Death Bell is a South Korean horror thriller set in an elite high school. A group of top-performing students finds themselves trapped and forced to participate in a twisted academic competition. As the students are subjected to a series of deadly challenges and gruesome punishments, they must race against time to uncover the identity of the mysterious orchestrator behind the sinister game. Death Bell is filled with tension, suspense, and unexpected twists.
  • Comparative Analysis: While The Maze Runner focuses on a group of teenagers navigating a perilous maze, Death Bell presents a similar scenario of students trapped in a life-threatening situation. However, instead of physical obstacles, the challenges in Death Bell are intellectual and psychological, testing the characters’ intelligence, courage, and resilience in the face of unimaginable terror. Both films explore themes of survival, betrayal, and the lengths people will go to in order to escape imminent danger. With its gripping storyline and intense atmosphere, Death Bell offers a thrilling cinematic experience that will appeal to fans of The Maze Runner and aficionados of psychological horror.

The Darkest Minds (2018)

  • Description: The Darkest Minds is a gripping science fiction thriller set in a dystopian future where a mysterious disease has wiped out most of America’s children, leaving the survivors with extraordinary abilities. These children are classified by the government based on their powers and are either detained or hunted down as threats. The story follows Ruby, a young girl with powerful abilities, who escapes from a government camp and joins a group of fellow teenagers on the run. Together, they must navigate a dangerous world while uncovering the truth about their past and fighting for their freedom. Filled with action, suspense, and emotional depth, The Darkest Minds explores themes of friendship, identity, and rebellion against oppressive authority.
  • Comparative Analysis: Similar to The Maze Runner, The Darkest Minds presents a group of young protagonists facing perilous challenges in a dystopian society. While The Maze Runner focuses on a maze and its mysteries, The Darkest Minds delves into the consequences of societal fear and discrimination against individuals with extraordinary abilities. Both films feature teenagers fighting against oppressive forces and struggling to uncover the truth about their circumstances. However, The Darkest Minds offers a unique twist with its exploration of superhuman abilities and the moral complexities that arise from them. With its compelling characters and thought-provoking narrative, The Darkest Minds provides an exhilarating cinematic experience for fans of dystopian fiction and thrilling adventures.

After Earth (2013)

  • Description: In After Earth, humanity has abandoned Earth after it becomes uninhabitable due to cataclysmic events. General Cypher Raige and his teenage son, Kitai, crash-land on Earth, which has evolved to become a deadly and hostile environment. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey across the planet’s treacherous terrain to signal for help and save them both. Facing ferocious creatures and harsh environmental conditions, Kitai undergoes a transformative journey, confronting his fears and discovering his inner strength. The film explores themes of resilience, survival, and the bond between father and son against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Earth.
  • Comparative Analysis: Like The Maze Runner, After Earth presents a young protagonist navigating a dangerous and unfamiliar world filled with threats. While The Maze Runner focuses on unraveling the mysteries of the maze After Earth follows Kitai’s journey of self-discovery and growth as he overcomes challenges to prove himself to his father and save their lives. Both films feature protagonists pushed to their limits in extreme environments, but After Earth adds a poignant familial dynamic that enriches the narrative. With breathtaking visuals and intense action sequences, After Earth offers a captivating exploration of courage and resilience in the face of adversity.

Cube (1997)

  • Description: Cube presents a gripping tale of survival set within a mysterious and deadly labyrinth. Six strangers wake up to find themselves trapped in a massive, intricate network of interconnected cube-shaped rooms, each filled with deadly traps and hazards. With no memory of how they arrived or why they were there, the group must work together to navigate the deadly maze, unravel its secrets, and find a way out before it’s too late. As tensions rise and alliances shift, the characters must confront their fears and personal demons while striving to escape the deadly puzzle. Cube is a masterclass in suspense and psychological tension, offering a thrilling and thought-provoking journey into the depths of human nature.
  • Comparative Analysis: Similar to The Maze Runner, Cube thrusts its characters into a high-stakes environment where survival is uncertain and danger lurks around every corner. While The Maze Runner focuses on a group of teenagers trapped in a maze, Cube presents a diverse ensemble cast facing the challenges of a labyrinthine structure that tests their intellect, resourcefulness, and morality. Both films explore themes of isolation, trust, and the human capacity for adaptation in the face of extreme circumstances. However, Cube delves deeper into the psychological aspects of survival, providing the viewers with a claustrophobic and intense experience.

The Hunger Games (2012)

  • Description: In The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’s bestselling novel, the nation of Panem annually selects one teenage boy and girl from each of its twelve districts to compete in a televised battle to the death known as the Hunger Games. The story follows Katniss Everdeen, a courageous young woman from District 12, who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the brutal competition. Alongside her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, Katniss must navigate the treacherous arena, outwit the Capitol’s deadly traps, and confront the moral dilemmas of survival. As the games unfold, Katniss becomes a symbol of hope and defiance against the oppressive regime, sparking a revolution that challenges the very foundations of Panem’s society.
  • Comparative Analysis: Like The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games thrusts its protagonists into a harrowing and life-threatening ordeal where they must fight for survival against powerful adversaries and oppressive systems. While The Maze Runner focuses on a group of boys navigating a mysterious maze, The Hunger Games presents a dystopian society where the ruling elite forces children to kill each other for entertainment and control. Both films explore themes of courage, sacrifice, and resistance against authoritarian rule, resonating with audiences through their compelling characters and gripping narratives. However, The Hunger Games offers a more expansive and politically charged story, blending action, romance, and social commentary to create a captivating and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Snowpiercer (2013)

  • Description: Snowpiercer is a sci-fi thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment has plunged Earth into a new ice age. The only survivors inhabit the Snowpiercer, a perpetually moving train that circles the globe. The train’s rigid class system leads to a revolution brewing among the oppressed passengers at the tail end, who stage a daring uprising to challenge the elite in the front sections. Led by Curtis (Chris Evans), the rebels embark on a dangerous journey through the train’s compartments, confronting its twisted hierarchy, brutal enforcers, and dark secrets. As they push forward, they uncover the truth about the train’s purpose and the sacrifices needed to change humanity’s fate.
  • Comparative Analysis: Snowpiercer shares thematic similarities with The Maze Runner as both films depict groups of individuals trapped in confined spaces, struggling against oppressive systems for freedom and survival. While The Maze Runner focuses on a maze as its central obstacle, Snowpiercer uses the train’s compartments as a metaphor for societal inequality and injustice. Both films explore themes of rebellion, sacrifice, and the human spirit’s resilience in the face of adversity. However, Snowpiercer offers a darker and more allegorical narrative, blending intense action sequences with social commentary to create a gripping and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Lord of the Flies (1963)

  • Description: Lord of the Flies, based on William Golding’s classic novel, follows a group of British schoolboys stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. Left to govern themselves without adult supervision, the boys initially attempt to establish order and cooperation. However, as their primitive instincts and inner savagery emerge, they descend into chaos and violence, forming rival factions and succumbing to primal impulses. The film explores themes of civilization versus savagery, the loss of innocence, and the inherent darkness within human nature. Directed by Peter Brook, Lord of the Flies provides a haunting portrayal of the thin veneer of civilization and the fragility of societal norms when confronted with the absence of authority.
  • Comparative Analysis: Lord of the Flies shares thematic parallels with The Maze Runner as both narratives explore the breakdown of order and the struggle for survival in isolated environments. While The Maze Runner features a group of adolescents trapped in a mysterious maze, Lord of the Flies depicts the unraveling of social order among boys stranded on a remote island. Both stories delve into the psychological dynamics of group behavior, portraying the tensions and conflicts that arise when individuals are pushed to their limits. However, Lord of the Flies delves deeper into the darker aspects of human nature, offering a harrowing examination of the human capacity for violence and depravity in the absence of societal constraints.

Battle Royale (2000)

  • Description: In a dystopian future, the Japanese government implements the Battle Royale Act, a ruthless program that selects a class of high school students and forces them to fight to the death on a deserted island. Each student is outfitted with a collar that will detonate if they attempt to escape or if more than one survives after the designated time. As the students grapple with the moral implications of their situation and confront their classmates-turned-enemies, alliances are formed, betrayals unfold, and survival becomes the ultimate goal. Directed by Kinji Fukasaku, Battle Royale delivers a visceral and thought-provoking exploration of youth, authority, and the lengths to which individuals will go to preserve their lives.
  • Comparative Analysis: Battle Royale shares thematic similarities with The Maze Runner as both films explore the struggle for survival in high-stakes, life-or-death scenarios. While The Maze Runner centers on a group of teens navigating a treacherous maze, Battle Royale presents a scenario where classmates are pitted against each other in a brutal fight for survival. Both films delve into the psychological toll of extreme circumstances, depicting the complex interplay of fear, trust, and self-preservation. However, Battle Royale offers a more intense and morally ambiguous portrayal of human nature, challenging viewers to confront the darker aspects of society and the human psyche.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

  • Description: The fourth installment in the beloved Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, follows Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When Harry unexpectedly becomes a participant in the Triwizard Tournament, a dangerous magical competition between three wizarding schools, he faces a series of perilous challenges. As Harry navigates through deadly tasks and uncovers dark secrets, he must confront the rising threat of Voldemort’s return and the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. Directed by Mike Newell, this film combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and mystery, captivating audiences with its thrilling plot twists and compelling character development.
  • Comparative Analysis: While Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire differs in genre and tone from The Maze Runner, both films share common themes of bravery, friendship, and the journey of self-discovery. In both stories, the protagonists find themselves thrust into dangerous trials beyond their control, where they must rely on their wits and courage to survive. Additionally, both films explore the complexities of teenage life, portraying the characters’ struggles with identity, relationships, and the pressures of growing up. However, while The Maze Runner focuses on a group of teenagers trapped in a mysterious maze, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire immerses viewers in the magical world of Hogwarts, where spells, potions, and mythical creatures abound.

There you have it! Our top picks for movies that take the core elements of “The Maze Runner” and spin them into absurd, comedic gold. Whether you’re in the mood for a silly maze adventure, a dystopian laugh, or a culinary escape, these films will keep you entertained and amused. So grab your popcorn, gather your friends, and enjoy a light-hearted movie night with these ludicrously similar films!