Watch Kids' Reviews of
MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS

What to know: This Maze Runner Sequel is a suspenseful, heart-pounding epic! It is an action-packed, intense continuation of The Maze Runner trilogy.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 12-18
131 minutes
FeatureFilm
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
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MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS cover image Click to play video trailer
Maze Runner The Scorch Trials is a action packed continuation of The Maze Runner trilogy written by James Dashner. Fans will cry, laugh and be kept on the edge of their seats during the fantastically intense moments!

This movie keeps it at a rather intense tone throughout the film with a sense of humor added just when its most needed. There is a bit of romance in a few scenes, but it is definitely not one of the main themes in the film. The story focuses more on intense action scenes then trying to develop romantic relationships between characters.

The story begins when Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and several other Gladers (people who lived in a kind of safe haven in the center of the maze) just escaped with the help of their rescuers. They are in a secure facility, safe from the dangers of the Scorch, a demolished wasteland. However, after learning their rescuers aren't what they seemed to be, they must escape into this dreaded wasteland, where they head a rebel army which, they hope, will help defeat the creators of the maze, WCKD. The plot is rather confusing for someone who hasn't seen or read the first book/movie, The Maze Runner. It would probably be more difficult to enjoy this one if you had not seen the first one since the stories are so closely connected.

The special effects are impressive. The demolished city looked very realistic. Some of the camera shots showing them walking in this dessert-like-wasteland are very unique especially panoramic ones. However, I do think the film is too long. They could have gotten rid of a few parts to make it a bit shorter. It is two hours and twelve minutes long and, although they did change a lot of the scenes from the book, I think an hour and forty five minutes to two hours would have made it better. The acting is spot on. It's very well cast. Rosa Salazar gives a strong performance as Brenda. Kaya Scodelano plays a very believable Teresa and, of course Dylan O'Brien plays a convincing Thomas.

My favorite scene is when they wake up in the Scorch. They are walking for days towards a light in the distance, but they also see a massive and deadly lightning storm coming their way. They run as fast as possible but lightning is all around them. If you want to find out what happens, you have to watch the film. I love the special effects of the clouds and the lightning. They are not only perfect looking and just mind blowing, some of the shots showing this massive, deadly storm are intense and I was literally holding my breath while waiting to see what would happen next.

The story has some mature moments and is rated PG-13. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars for the fantastic cinematography, the mind blowing special effects and a story that is just stretched out a little bit too much. This film is in theaters September 18 so go check it out.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 13.Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a heart-pounding, suspenseful action-adventure film. Based on the best-selling dystopian novel by James Dashner, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a terrific sequel-- in this case, better than the original film!

Dylan O'Brien stars again as Thomas, the leader of a band of renegade teenagers known as the "Gladers" They are trying to escape the bureaucratic nightmare of WCKD, a mysterious and powerful organization. Their escape takes them out into a desert called "The Scorch," an uninhabitable environment of sand dunes, bombed out cities and lightning storms. They are looking for a resistance group who they hope will help them. Along the way they uncover WCKD's shocking plan for all young people of their kind.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials also stars Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Lily Taylor and Patricia Clarkson. The acting is surprisingly good, considering the youthful age of most of the actors. Dylan O'Brien has terrific star quality and Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) is very mysterious and ambiguous as one of the main villains of WCKD. The film is directed by Wes Ball, who also directed the first Maze Runner movie. It's surprising when a director is able to top his last movie in a franchise.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has wonderful costume design, make-up and set design. For some characters in the movie the make up is extremely detailed and realistic. It is probably very annoying for the actors to wear that make-up. The costume design is just right; they didn't go "over-the-top" like they do in some of these dystopian movies. The set design and locations are also extraordinary. The attention to detail is well done. I could viscerally feel the post-apocalyptic world that the movie creates.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is very well scripted. The story portrays so many human emotions. We encounter betrayal, courage, hope, perseverance, friendship, loyalty and compassion. It is much scarier than the first Maze Runner. There are a couple of "jump scares" that really surprised me.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is being released by 20th Century Fox. It is rated PG 13 and is appropriate for ages 12 to 18. However, there are some frightening scenes that kids should be aware of. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

This live action feature film directed by Wes Ball is an epic movie that takes you through a truly exhilarating adventure. As an avid science fiction fan, I couldn't wait to watch this sequel. The special effects are phenomenal makes me wonder how they make each setting so realistic. If you love non-stop action, Maze Runners: The Scorch Trials is a very intense film that will not disappoint you.

While the plot is enjoyable, I do recommended that you want to watch the first movie, The Maze Runner, before watching this sequel. The storyline is quite complex and might be confusing to follow if you're unfamiliar with the original film or book. In this film, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and the Gladers try to escape the organization WCKD whose main purpose is to find a cure for "the Flare," a plague that turns people into zombie-like creature known as Cranks. The Gladers have to face new and unbelievable obstacles that come their way in order to survive in the Scorch, a desolate wasteland that is uninhabitable by humans.

My favorite scene is full of amazing special effects! Brenda (Rosa Salazar) and Thomas try to escape a "crazy" Crank infestation through a dilapidated city-scape. Having just met, they need to rely on each other for their own survival and that's what makes this scene really special.

My favorite actor in The Scorch Trials is Dylan O'Brien because his character, Thomas, is very believable in this role. O'Brien is surrounded by a strong supporting cast of Gladers. Theresa (Kaya Scodelario), Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) really portray their parts well and it seems like they all actually care about each other.

The Gladers make sacrifices and come together as a family to insure each other's survival. The message is that people are at their strongest when working together.

The target audience for this movie is any teen that enjoys fast action, science fiction thrillers. While the movie only lasts two hours, it feels like longer because there are few breaks in the action. The ending of the movie is a total cliffhanger, leaving me on the edge of my seat and sets the audience up for the third sequel, The Death Cure. I recommend this movie for ages 13 to 18 due to its intensity. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is well put together and the special effects can't be beat.

This movie opens in theaters September 18 so don't miss it.

Reviewed by Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The second installment of the adaptation of the Maze Runner books is a very exiting film. The plot has many unexpected twists and turns that I greatly enjoy. It has tons of believable action and the anticipation keeps growing and growing.

Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers are finally out of the Maze and in, what they think is a place that keeps kids from WCKD, a corporation that put them in the maze in the first place. They are put there for experimental reasons. After, unfortunately finding out that the ones that saved them are really WCKD themselves, the Gladers run for their lives and their freedom while trying to find the resistance fighters.

The main reason I really like this film is due to the excitement and unpredictable plot line. While watching this film I always find myself wondering what will happen next and sitting at the edge of my seat. The visuals are very clear, elaborate, and actually draw you into the film. The characters have great personalities that are distinct and completely different from one another, which add to the overall success of the film. My favorite character is Minho (Ki Hong Lee), because in many of the scenes he is the character that has so much courage and, instead of running he deals with the problem at hand. Because of his bravery many lives are saved throughout the film. My favorite scene is at the very beginning scene, because of the simple fact that it is an almost seamless continuation for the Maze Runner. I always like it when the same scene for the end of one film is the beginning of the sequel. Just as a side note I will say, in order to really understand and appreciate this film, you should watch Maze Runner, before watching this sequel.

A message that I found early on in this film is that sometimes it's better to follow your instinctual gut than other people. You just don't always know who and what to trust.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and for anyone who loves the initial installment of the Maze Runner. Families and friends will definitely enjoy it together. I give it 4 out of 5 stars for its excitement, visuals and great plotline.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Oh my! This is really non-stop action in a relentless way. It's like The Matrix on steroids! But, it's not graphically violent in terms of blood and guts. The Cranks and grotesque rats are a bit of a tummy churner but it's an interesting storyline. It reminds me of the Fortunately/Unfortunately Book. First, they're saved, then they're not, then they are, then they're not. Back and forth and it's hard to guess who you can trust and who you can't. The cast of young actors is pretty outstanding and quite believable down to doing most of their own stunt work. They certainly put a lot of energy into their performances. Apparently Barry Pepper films his action scenes with a broken ankle. Ouch.

The sets and special effects are awe inspiring and terrifying all at once. The journey across the devastated lands and the skeletal remains of buildings is enough for you to think twice about what the effects of global warming or a rampant virus might actually be. And last, great score. I'm sending my peeps to it.

In this next chapter of the epic "Maze Runner" saga, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD's vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all. Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie.
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Kid Critic video review by
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Kid Critic video review by
GERRY ORZ
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