Critics Consensus

The Maze Runner Franchise Limps to the Finish Line

Plus, Hostiles is a solid Western and Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest Kickboxer outing is surprisingly fun.

by | January 25, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have the belated conclusion of the Maze Runner trilogy (Maze Runner: The Death Cure, starring Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario), and Christian Bale riding a horse (Hostiles, c0-starring Rosamund Pike and West Studi). What are the critics saying?

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) 43%

Timing is hugely important for any movie, and for a film franchise based on a series of YA novels, momentum can be crucial — it’s important to strike before your target audience ages out and moves on to something else. The Maze Runner movies were forced to confront this principle in action when leading man Dylan O’Brien was injured on the set of the third installment, Maze Runner: The Death Cure; O’Brien’s surgery and recovery led to a delay of roughly a year, and although a person’s health is obviously far more important than the commercial fortunes of a film, there’s no denying that most releases in this genre have a fairly limited shelf life, and by waiting, The Death Cure risked seeing its window swing shut. On the other hand, its prolonged gestation doesn’t seem to have affected this chapter’s critical reception; like the prior Maze Runner outing, 2015’s The Scorch Trials, it’s edging up on a 50 percent Tomatometer, with reviews describing a saga-concluding adventure that proves occasionally exciting in a generally predictable fashion. For fans who’ve followed along until now and are still along for the ride, Maze Runner: The Death Cure should prove an engaging enough conclusion — but as with any other film series approaching its end, the unconverted probably need not apply.

Hostiles (2017) 71%

Writer-director Scott Cooper has earned widespread critical acclaim by finding the emotional pull in stories about hard people having hard times in hard places, and with this weekend’s Hostiles, his creative journey takes him back to the late 19th century and way out west, where a U.S. Cavalry officer stationed in New Mexico (Christian Bale) is ordered to bring a dying Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) back to his tribal land in Montana. Along the way, their group encounters a ruined home where a shellshocked widow (Rosamund Pike) is grieving the murder of her family by a Comanche war party — a meeting that irrevocably alters the journey for all concerned. It’s the setup for the type of wind-whipped frontier drama we’ve already seen countless times, and critics say Hostiles definitely hews to its share of conventions. The end results still engage, however, thanks to Cooper’s determined direction and layered story — not to mention typically great work from Bale and Studi as well as a standout performance from Pike. While it ultimately may not lead audiences down many trails they haven’t already explored, Cooper’s latest outing makes it well worth saddling up for genre fans.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018) , the latest installment in the long-running rebooted martial arts series, is at 100 percent.
  • Padmaavat (2018) , an Indian period piece inspired by the 16th-century epic poem, is at 89 percent.
  • A Ciambra (2017) , about the experiences of a young boy coming of age in southern Italy, is at 81 percent.
  • American Folk (2017) , about a pair of folk musicians who hit the road together when their flight is grounded after the September 11 attacks, is at 80 percent.
  • West of the Jordan River (2017) , a documentary about the Israelis and Palestinians coping with conditions in contested territories, is at 75 percent.
  • Like Me (2017) , about a woman who builds a massive social media following by broadcasting her traveling crime spree, is at 67 percent.
  • Please Stand By (2017) , starring Dakota Fanning as a young woman on the spectrum who embarks on a Star Trek-inspired road trip, is at 55 percent.
  • The Clapper (2017) , starring Ed Helms and Tracy Morgan as friends who earn a living as infomercial audience members, is at 25 percent.

Tag Cloud

A&E quibi 2019 IFC critic resources rt labs critics edition TV 2021 Calendar pirates of the caribbean A24 Tarantino blaxploitation kaiju twilight based on movie indiana jones Animation thriller adenture MTV CW Seed fresh razzies DC Universe italian Sundance TV Superheroe 2017 Hear Us Out TV One halloween tv Marvel stoner supernatural unscripted Sundance Now mutant See It Skip It werewolf Broadway Disney Amazon Prime Video black comedies Mary Tyler Moore TruTV dexter Paramount Network FXX saw asian-american live action Adult Swim CBS wonder woman ABC Amazon Studios IFC Films Television Critics Association royal family facebook Columbia Pictures Anna Paquin Rocketman news anthology Sony Pictures The Purge PaleyFest australia marvel comics Chernobyl elevated horror politics Fantasy Schedule Alien classics Hallmark Stephen King YouTube Premium Amazon Prime BET CMT international Family vampires Brie Larson AMC mission: impossible TBS monster movies what to watch slasher 90s renewed TV shows talk show ABC Signature gangster cats Apple TV+ Wes Anderson Tokyo Olympics Disney+ Disney Plus CBS All Access TCA Winter 2020 The Walt Disney Company independent Pirates Mystery TV Land Discovery Channel Awards true crime strong female leads LGBT richard e. Grant History 2018 concert transformers anime rotten romance stop motion travel SundanceTV medical drama dark south america Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt game of thrones Apple TV Plus Hallmark Christmas movies Walt Disney Pictures best Arrowverse Mindy Kaling cancelled TV shows 2015 Mary poppins Avengers ID The Arrangement Ghostbusters Spring TV blockbusters comic book movies archives FOX natural history Turner YouTube Red Teen spy thriller WarnerMedia Marvel Television satire cooking comiccon versus Warner Bros. Spike docudrama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Marvel Studios ratings book adaptation movies Pride Month rom-coms Cannes Video Games Comedy Winners cartoon CNN DC Comics Legendary prank kids Paramount Plus dramedy BBC America President free movies diversity adaptation hist scary movies YouTube E3 dogs Photos Red Carpet TV movies spain GoT new star wars movies theme song doctor who action-comedy Netflix Christmas movies Emmy Nominations popular Film FX sitcom 1990s American Society of Cinematographers MSNBC LGBTQ Baby Yoda 24 frames ITV halloween comic books trailers HBO Max zero dark thirty cops Fox Searchlight Masterpiece Dark Horse Comics Musical period drama children's TV HBO Pet Sematary suspense scorecard USA Network Superheroes political drama HBO Go festivals First Look new york Esquire NYCC Cartoon Network Trophy Talk Shudder films BAFTA crime drama hidden camera Premiere Dates japanese mcc Tomatazos spanish breaking bad cancelled TCM sequels movie 99% heist movie crime Disney Plus Lifetime Christmas movies ABC Family nbcuniversal Watching Series streaming documentary historical drama green book joker hollywood Winter TV emmy awards Infographic crime thriller Star Wars space Opinion know your critic cinemax Crackle sports teaser Super Bowl Academy Awards First Reviews boxoffice new zealand robots discovery Trailer 20th Century Fox Lifetime spider-man golden globe awards Cosplay game show OWN video on demand Oscars romantic comedy docuseries serial killer Toys Lionsgate 2020 Ellie Kemper PBS ghosts USA Mary Poppins Returns Bravo YA lord of the rings cancelled TV series biopic hispanic heritage month Creative Arts Emmys sequel Sci-Fi crossover Classic Film reviews obituary high school DirecTV Showtime Rom-Com biography binge El Rey screenings BBC legend french award winner Film Festival all-time olympics VICE Britbox mockumentary Star Trek GIFs young adult Women's History Month documentaries japan SDCC godzilla Countdown Travel Channel Valentine's Day Action women screen actors guild Ovation ESPN Netflix VOD 72 Emmy Awards nfl Tubi GLAAD cancelled television worst movies jurassic park DGA comics Western superman venice fast and furious Election Turner Classic Movies Reality Competition toronto Horror scene in color canceled TV shows child's play Song of Ice and Fire a nightmare on elm street Shondaland Set visit TLC DC streaming service universal monsters dceu TIFF golden globes rt labs kong spinoff cults Country revenge nature The Academy 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards latino Heroines TNT Podcast Sneak Peek Spectrum Originals Crunchyroll Best and Worst Black Mirror Disney streaming service National Geographic Extras television Elton John Music feel good Summer Interview spanish language series jamie lee curtis Disney Channel psychological thriller debate 007 VH1 book RT21 batman Nickelodeon christmas movies marvel cinematic universe Pop cars disaster canceled franchise miniseries Lucasfilm E! Polls and Games Biopics animated festival Grammys Box Office deadpool dragons Year in Review Emmys Trivia APB Reality Binge Guide worst Sundance boxing rt archives singing competition psycho MCU Rocky Logo Universal telelvision ViacomCBS Holidays sag awards casting adventure Syfy aliens basketball TCA reboot Food Network 2016 Acorn TV Hulu Musicals 93rd Oscars Black History Month tv talk NBC blockbuster Starz Vudu composers critics SXSW Peacock The Walking Dead justice league comic X-Men harry potter Paramount james bond social media parents war Endgame finale 45 NBA Fall TV Television Academy technology TCA Awards 21st Century Fox Amazon aapi laika science fiction indie hispanic Marathons Awards Tour name the review rotten movies we love TV renewals dc Kids & Family criterion police drama Pixar Drama Captain marvel Rock directors stand-up comedy king kong toy story posters zombie The CW Martial Arts OneApp Image Comics Comic Book Nat Geo witnail Apple football foreign Comedy Central king arthur die hard slashers Pop TV San Diego Comic-Con WGN Character Guide zombies video Comic-Con@Home 2021 BBC One Holiday The Witch superhero 71st Emmy Awards Thanksgiving Tumblr chucky TCA 2017 Exclusive Video Freeform Christmas Funimation Mudbound BET Awards 73rd Emmy Awards Fox News target PlayStation New York Comic Con remakes FX on Hulu Pacific Islander Epix Certified Fresh Comics on TV streaming movies Writers Guild of America RT History comic book movie Quiz 4/20 Nominations