Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Maze Runner: The Death Cure Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Violent dystopian trilogy finale wraps us loose ends.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 142 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 73 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Like the previous two, this is a story about teamwork, courage, friendship, and identity. The teen characters may not know their past, but they know they can trust one another and work together toward securing a better, safer future. The idea that even those without power and control can unite and resist those who are oppressing them is a key theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Thomas, Newt, Minho, Frypan, and the rest of the remaining Gladers are brave, clever, and selfless. They're willing to put themselves in dangerous situations and make sacrifices to defend and protect one another. While girls and women are somewhat scarce in this franchise, Brenda is a strong female character who isn't afraid to defend herself or protect her friends. Teresa atones for her past betrayals and does her best to make sure no one else is hurt. Jorge and Vince are older protectors and role models to the teens.


There's a high body count: People die or are injured as the result of shoot-outs, assassination, and/or mass destruction, including explosions (one created by a suicide mission) and entire buildings falling. One character who's succumbing to a deadly virus asks to be killed and then has a knife fight with someone and ends up fatally wounded. A man with part of his face missing is shown several times. A couple of people who've been infested are shown transforming into zombie-like creatures. Someone plunges to their death after failing to hold on to an escape vehicle. Hundreds die during a ground/air fight.


A couple of quick kisses.


Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "d--k," "twat," "a--hole," "bastard," "bulls--t," "holy s--t," "what the hell," and "oh my God!"

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the finale in the popular Maze Runner trilogy based on James Dashner's best-selling dystopian books. The movie centers on charming, loyal Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), who in this last film must rally the remaining Gladers to again rescue one of their own from WCKD's clutches. There's considerably more strong language in the movies than in the books: Expect to hear "s--t," "bull s--t," "son of a bitch," etc. And the body count is high, with big explosions and shoot-outs responsible for lots of fatalities. But it's the up-close deaths (via stabbing, shooting, and falling from a great height) that are the most disturbing. Romance isn't a focus here, as it is in many other YA-based adaptations -- instead, the Maze Runner stories deal with friendship, teamwork, courage, and trust -- but there's a hint of a love triangle and a quick kiss or two.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byNathan D. February 4, 2018

From an honest reviewer with common sense, this movie is great for 9 and up.

Honestly 80 percent of the time we watch Disney or Pixar movies. Even minions. Things of that nature. This movie is not bad at all. I have yet to show my son an... Continue reading
Parent of a 5, 11, and 14-year-old Written byMadenb January 28, 2018

Best of the three, great end of the trilogy

Saw the movie with my two sons ages 14 and 11. They have both read the books and seen the first two movies. They loved it, and I also thought it was the best of... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byeolia January 29, 2018


I might be a tad bias because I absolutely love Dylan O’Brien and the cast, and I loved the books and the first two movies, but acting and plot aside, just the... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPolkadotdog June 6, 2018

Best Movie ever

The Death cure was a fantastic ending to the series filled with emotional twists, some violence and amazing life messages.

If you have read the books you will... Continue reading

What's the story?

The final installment in the Maze Runner trilogy, MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE follows Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Newt (Thomas Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), and the rest of the escaped Gladers as they attempt to save Minho (Ki Hong Lee) from WCKD's clutches. If they can't, Vince (Barry Pepper) needs to get the rest of the immune on a ship to start over somewhere far away. Minho has been taken to the Last City, a labyrinthine city controlled by WCKD, for more last-ditch experiments. Thomas, his quasi-love interest Brenda (Rosa Salazar), and the other members of their squad team up with the small resistance right outside the Last City's gates to go on a final mission to rescue their friend. But to get in, Thomas must confront his former friend who betrayed the cause -- Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), who still believes WCKD can do good if they use the immune to find a cure -- and evade cold-blooded WCKD enforcer Janson (Aiden Gillen).

Is it any good?

Fans of James Dashner's dystopian saga and the movie series will appreciate the closure this serviceable finale provides, with O'Brien immersing himself in the role of Thomas one last time. The stakes in this one are high, but for Thomas and his buddies, it all boils down to saving Minho. The world-building isn't as strong here as in, say, The Hunger Games, but it does have a clearer premise than the later Divergent films: The immune just need to get away from WCKD's experimenting and start over together.

A couple of twists and turns reunite the Gladers with kids they thought they'd never see again, and characters must make difficult life-or-death choices. Scodelario's conflicted Teresa pleads her case to Thomas, who's willing to donate blood if it means saving the infested. That's an ongoing theme of this installment, which does feature some thrills and nail-biting confrontations but is ultimately about a group of young men (girls and women are scarce in this series) who learn to trust, protect, and defend one another against villains who sought to use and destroy them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of violent dystopian stories aimed at teenagers. What impact does the violence have in Maze Runner: The Death Cure?

  • Is it different to see violence than to read about it? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence? Are the deaths in this installment particularly difficult to handle? If so, why?

  • Which characters are role models? What character strengths do they demonstrate?

  • Dashner fans: Do you think this movie captures the spirit of the book? What changes and differences did you appreciate? What scenes from the book did you miss seeing on the big screen?

Movie details

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