A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple of quick kisses.
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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!"
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.