Movies Like Maze Runner – The Evolution of Dystopian Movies

The Maze Runner came out in 2014. It was an American dystopian science fiction film directed by Wes Ball. It was actually his directorial debut. The movie was based on a 2009 novel of the same name by James Dashner. It is the first installment in the Maze Runner franchise. And when we talk about movies like Maze Runner, we talk about dystopian movies that have been a huge hit lately.

Maze Runner stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter, and more in the main roles.

Development of the movie began in 2011 with Fox purchasing the film rights to the novel. Ball was hired in 2012 to direct the film adaptation.

The movie was released in September 2014 in the US, receiving positive reviews and praise for its performance and tone. Critics considered it better than most book-to-film adaptations.

At the moment, there are no promises about Maze Runner 4. But there is a chance that might happen. In the meantime, let’s take a look at movies like Maze Runner.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trial

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The 2015 sequel to the original movie was again directed by Wes Ball. The plot takes place immediately after the previous installment and continues the Maze Runner series.

The movie was again a commercial success, grossing more than $30 million on opening weekend. That made it the ninth-higher-grossing debut in September. It grossed more than $312 million worldwide.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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Simply known as The Death Cure, the 2018 American science fiction dystopian film is the last in the Maze Runner trilogy. It was set to be released in February 2017. Yet, the studio rescheduled the movie adaptation for January 2018, allowing time for O’Brien to recover from injuries sustained during filming.

The third installment grossed $288 million worldwide, making it the “worst” among Maze Runner movies.



Neil Burger directed the movie based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Veronica Roth. It is the first installment in the Divergent Series. Fun fact: this dystopian movie series was released in the same year as the first Maze Runner.

The cast includes Theo James, Shailene Woodley, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Kate Winslet, and more.

The story of the movie takes place in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic Chicago. People are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues.

Critics considered the handling of its themes to be generic and unoriginal. They compared it unfavorably to other young adult fiction adaptations.



The long name is The Divergent Series: Insurgent. It is the second movie in the Divergent series. The 2015 American movie takes place five days after the original movie.

It continues to follow Dauntless soldier Tris Prior and Four, her Dauntless instructor, and more as they are on the run after evading a coup from Erudite faction leader Jeannine and the rest of the faction.

The movie earned a bit more than the original installment, grossing $297 worldwide at the box office.


Allegiant 2016 1

The Divergent Series: Allegiant is a 2016 American dystopian movie. This movie follows Tris Prior, her boyfriend, and a small group of friends escaping over the wall that enclosed the city.

Once they get outside, the group discovers new truths that will shift their alliances and introduce new threats.


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The 2013 American post-apocalyptic action-adventure film stars Tom Cruise in the main role. The supporting cast includes Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

The movie is based on Joseph Kosinski’s unpublished graphic novel of the same name. It pays homage to 1970s science fiction best movies.

Oblivion takes place in 2077, a time when Earth is devastated by war with extraterrestrials. This has caused humanity to relocate itself on Titan. The story follows Jack Harper, a technician who has been sent back to Earth to service drones used in the fight against extraterrestrials.

He is captured by scavengers and then fights against a new and evolving alien threat.

The Hunger Games


If you noticed, many of the movies like Maze Runner are actually film series. The Hunger Games is the same. The first movie came out in 2012, and it was based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins.

Set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem, where a boy and a girl from each of the nations are chosen annually as tributes and forced to compete in the Hunter Games. The game is actually an elaborate televised fight to the death.

Things change when Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence volunteers to take her younger sister’s place. She travels to the Capitol where she trains and competes in the hunger games.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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The second installment came out in 2013. The plot begins a few months after the first movie ended. Katniss and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark have returned home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games.

But she senses a rebellion against the oppressive Capitol. Critics praised the movie as a more-confident and more-polished movie. Lawrence’s performance in the action sequence also got a lot of praise.

The movie received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Science Fiction Film. And Lawrence was nominated for the Empire Award for Best Actress.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2

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We will put these two movies together. The story continues to follow Katniss as she has survived the Hunger Games twice. She becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol and fights to save Peeta and the nation.

Part 1 grossed $755 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing movie of 2014 and second-highest in the Hunger Games series.

In Part 2, we see Katniss finally preparing to win the war against President Snow and the tyrannical Capitol.



The 1986 musical fantasy film has George Lucas serving as executive producer. The movie follows the story of a 16-year-old Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly. Her quest to reach the center of an enormous maze to rescue her infant half-brother Toby is the main plot of the movie.

The movie was a box-office disappointment. It grossed only $12.9 million, with a budget of $25 million. But it still gained a large cult following.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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The 2014 science fiction action film was directed by Matt Reeves. It is the sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The 2011 movie began the reboot of the Planet of the Apes series.

Dawn is set 10 years after the events of the 2011 movie. It follows a group of people in San Francisco, struggling to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that wiped out most of humanity.

Edge of Tomorrow

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Tom Cruise is quite the actor for movies like Maze Runner. In Edge of Tomorrow, he appears alongside Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Brendan Gleeson.

The movie takes place in a future where most of Europe is occupied by an alien race. Cruise plays Major William Cage, who is a public relations officer with limited combat experience. He is forced to join a landing operation against the aliens, only to find himself experiencing a time loop as he tries to find a way and defeat the invaders.

Bird Box


The reason we put this movie on the list is Sandra Bullock. The actress famous for playing in comedy movies tried herself in this post-apocalyptic horror-thriller film.

The movie is about a post-apocalyptic world, where Malorie Hayes informs two young children they will go down a river in a rowboat. She instructs them not to remove their blindfolds or they will die.

The movie changes between different timelines, five years before and five years after the event.

Alita: Battle Angel


The 2019 cyberpunk action film is based on Japanese manga artist Yukito Kishiro’s series Battle Angel Alita. He also had a 1993 original video animation adaptation, Battle Angel.

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James Cameron produced and wrote the movie. Alita is a cyborg who awakens in a new body with no memory of her past and sets out to uncover her destiny.

12 Monkeys

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Let’s talk about some older science fiction movies. This 1995 movie was inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetee.

12 Monkeys stars Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, and Madeleine Stowe. It was released to critical praise and grossed $168 million worldwide.

Brad Pitt was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in this movie.

Jurassic World


Let’s finish off the list with another major franchise, Jurassic World. The 2015 movie is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, and the first in the Jurassic World trilogy.

In 2022, we will wait and see the upcoming Jurassic World Dominion.

The Signal


This 2014 American science fiction thriller movie is about three college students who think they have tracked a rival computer hacker to a shed in the Nevada desert.

The three MIT students are on a road trip. It stars Brenton Thwaites and Laurence Fishburne in the main roles.

Written by Steven

Steven is a young student from San Francisco who is obsessed with computers.

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