Movies Like The Maze Runner: 25 Titles To Match Your Dystopian Mood

25 Movies Like The Maze Runner Full Of (Literal And Figurative) Twists And Turns

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Twentieth Century Fox

The Maze Runner is a worthy watch for plenty of reasons. For one, it’s based on a book — and is often noted as one of the best young adult book-to-film adaptations of our time. Secondly, it’s a film that’ll make everyone think, based on how it roots itself in science fiction. Movies like The Maze Runner that are so full of twists and turns, literally and figuratively, don’t come out every day. It’s dark and pulse-pounding, yes, but it’s so compelling that it makes a solid addition to movie night.

The movie is about a 16-year-old boy named Thomas who suddenly wakes up in a rusty elevator, with no clue how he arrived there. Thomas and the other boys were placed there to try and make their way out of an ever-changing maze. Together, they’ve formed a society, with designated “Runners” attempting to figure out an escape before nighttime and often failing to do so. Is it scary? Well, a little — especially if you’re the type to really enjoy the comforts of home.

Released by 20th Century Fox, the PG-13 movie quickly became essential viewing for a lot of people (particularly those who liked the book). If you’re looking for more movies like The Maze Runner, its two sequels are the first place to look. But, if you’re looking for a new story altogether, here are some great titles that you may enjoy. But keep in mind — some of these might be a little too much for a younger crowd.

Movies Like The Maze Runner to Match Your Dystopian Mood

1. The Hunger Games (2012)

The Hunger Games gets compared to The Maze Runner a lot, and that’s because both of them require young adults who find themselves in a completely different — and somewhat deadly — environment. A big movie for Jennifer Lawrence, the first Hunger Games film proved one of the many that made her an iconic actress for our generation. The 2021 movie was also part of a book series, with other films following.

2. Divergent (2014)

The Divergent series of YA books has a similar vibe to The Maze Runner since it takes place in post-apocalyptic dystopian Chicago. In the series, the powers that be ban people from using their own free will. Much like the main character in The Maze Runner, the lead character of Tris in the Divergent series (played by Shailene Woodley) is only 16. After watching Divergent, you should follow it up with Insurgent. The third film, Allegiant, didn’t do so well in box offices, so the production company chose to scrap the fourth planned film. (But that doesn’t mean the ones released aren’t worth watching!)

3. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Tom Cruise might not be your favorite actor in the whole world, but you have to admit — he’s excellent in action films. This one teams him up with Emily Blunt for a fun (yet quite satisfying) film about a guy trapped in a time loop. This movie has a lot of elements of The Maze Runner, but it is also similar to another classic film: Groundhog Day. Much like that early ’90s cult classic, every day in Edge of Tomorrow starts the same for Cruise’s character. But unlike Groundhog Day, the time that’s looped includes fighting aliens.

4. Battle Royale (2000)

This action-thriller film from Japan is known as one of the most controversial films of all time — and honestly, it’s not for the light of heart. Read: It’s probably best left to the adults! The film, which focuses on a group of junior high school students forced to battle each other for the Japanese totalitarian government, was actually banned in the United States for a bit after its release. But of course, that hasn’t stopped people from seeing it. (In fact, it’s one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films of all time.) If you have thick skin and genuinely appreciate the art of film, Battle Royale is an excellent pick.

5. Bird Box (2018)

It’s hard to believe that Bird Box came out in 2018 — it seems like just yesterday, everyone was buzzing about this Sandra Bullock movie that debuted on Netflix. Much like The Maze Runner, the premise of this film is survival. It’s not an extremely family-friendly movie, especially since they delve into the topic of suicide. But for older and more mature kids, it may become one of the first movies to make them really appreciate other post-apocalyptic horror films.

More Movies Like The Maze Runner 

Still looking for more? These films also have a similar theme.

  1. A Quiet Place (2018)
  2. Days of Heaven (1978)
  3. The Village (2004)
  4. Labyrinth (1986)
  5. The Giver (2014)
  6. Never Let Me Go (2010)
  7. Chappie (2015)
  8. Lucy (2014)
  9. Ender’s Game (2013)
  10. The 5th Wave (2016)
  11. The Host (2013)
  12. Abduction (2011)
  13. In Time (2011)
  14. I Am Number Four (2011)
  15. After Earth (2013)
  16. Cube (1997)
  17. Boy 7 (2015)
  18. The Tomorrow War (2021)
  19. How It Ends (2018)
  20. Inception (2010)