Dylan O'Brien as Thomas in The Maze Runner

Here’s How To Check Out the ‘Maze Runner’ Movie Trilogy in Order

If the return of The Hunger Games in cinemas has made you long for some more dystopian YA storytelling, then it might just be the perfect time to revisit the Maze Runner trilogy.

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Based on the books by James Dashner, the Maze Runner trilogy flaunts all the hallmarks of early 2010s dystopian cinema. Led by a strong up-and-coming cast including Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee, and Dexter Darden, as well as welcome appearances by Giancarlo Esposito and Patricia Clarkson, the Maze Runner trilogy had all the makings of a thrilling and wild ride across a desolate world. The casting was spot-on, the characters were compelling, and the world itself was intriguing. The books really had me in a chokehold, and so did the movies. If you haven’t watched and/or read this series, don’t worry—I won’t include any major spoilers.

So, how about a Maze Runner marathon this weekend?

The Maze Runner (2014)

Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee, Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster on a poster for The Maze Runner.
(20th Century Fox)

The premise of the The Maze Runner is simple: what if a group of teenage boys (and one girl) were forced to live together in the center of a maze? How would they survive, and what would they be willing to sacrifice to get out? As Thomas (O’Brien) finds himself thrown into the middle of this hellish nightmare, he begins to unravel the secrets of the maze and convinces his new friends, the Gladers, to rebel against their captors. It’s a thrilling tale, made all the better by the fascinating character dynamics at play.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee on a poster for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
(20th Century Fox)

After escaping the maze, Thomas and the rest of the Gladers soon discover that the real world is no picnic, either. As they cross a harsh and desolate desert environment in search of answers, their resolve is tested, and they begin to understand that by escaping the maze, they simply traded in one hellscape for another. How far are they willing to go to survive? And do they even stand a chance when they’re being hunted down by a massively powerful organization known as WCKD?

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)

Ki Hong Lee, Rosa Salazar, Dylan O'Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster on a poster for Maze Runner: The Death Cure
(20th Century Fox)

Despite a severe production delay after Dylan O’Brien injured himself on set, The Death Cure proved a fitting, exciting, and emotional ending to this dystopian saga.

The fight against WCKD is more dangerous than ever, but Thomas and the remaining Gladers are willing to risk everything to free their friends from certain doom. As they break their way into the Last City, a WCKD-controlled stronghold, the Gladers risk their lives for freedom one last time. A word of advice when watching this one: keep the tissues close by.

(featured image: 20th Century Fox)

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El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.