In the epic conclusion to the Maze Runner saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final mission. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all!

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 144 minutes
Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter, Rosa Salazar
Directed by: Wes Ball
Music by: John Paesano
Written by: T.S. Nowlin based on the novel by James Dashner
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 24, 2018
"Who Will Make it to the WCKD End?"
My Take:

In The Maze Runner Thomas woke up as he was being delivered to the glade. He had no memory of who he was or why he’d become a member of a community of young people; among them Minho, lead maze runner; Newt, a good friend and advisor, Gally, a leader and adversary and Teresa, the only female glader, with whom Thomas may have a potentially dark history. Together they are trapped, surrounded by 200-foot walls and an ever-changing maze.

Bad turns to worse when the gladers finally escape the maze only to discover they are in the middle of a desolate wasteland called The Scorch. In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Thomas and the surviving gladers met new allies while discovering clues about a mysterious group behind all of their “tests” – an organization known as WCKD.

With Maze Runner: The Death Cure the motives of WCKD become clearer: Dr. Ava Paige, WCKD’s executive director is close to what she believes is a cure for the disease known as The Flare, an infection that has decimated the world’s population. But the cure comes by sacrificing the few young people left in the world who are apparently immune. In order to free those who have been rounded up as test subjects, including his friend Minho, Thomas must now band together with fellow survivors, old and new, and take the battle to what may be the last remaining city and the final stronghold of WCKD. He must break into the super-secure WKCD headquarters and try to bring down the organization from the inside.

I haven't read any of the Maze Runner books however I generally find the dystopian, post-apocalyptic youth theme we see in films to be enjoyable. I liked The Maze Runner and looked forward to the second installment. Watching it I found the plot and narrative to be of the more conventional variety, seemingly borrowing concepts and ticking boxes from other films. With the original film the elements of mystery combined with the establishment of the character base and layer peeling narrative capably supported the thematic tone and spirit of adventure. While The Scorch Trials had shared traits, it felt less refreshing, lacking the edginess of the danger found in the maze.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure likes the previous two films, is written for the screen by T.S. Nowlin, based upon the novel by James Dashner. This film closes out the story bringing the central characters, especially Thomas, full circle as their final encounter with WCKD comes to its inevitable conclusion. For me, these films have less engaging with each subsequent installment. Maze Runner: The Death Cure being the weakest of the three. Firstly, at two hours and twenty plus minutes its narrative is overlong and unsupported by the singular nature of the plot. I didn’t much care for the attempts at melodrama which felt forced, and at times, campy, especially on the part of Dylan O’Brien.

My good friend David Vaughn, Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer, for Sound & Vision was visiting and we decided to view the film together. I thought I would share his thoughts:

”Book adaptations are all the rage and overall this is a middling entry into the genre. The first movie started things off quite well, but the second didn’t inspire me to run out to the theaters to see the finale, hence I waited for the UHD to arrive in the mail. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, this movie is much too long and drags quite a bit. I had the pleasure of watching it with Ralph Potts, AVS Forum movie reviewer, in his theater in upstate New York while on vacation, and we pretty much felt the same way. In fact, we had our own version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 criticizing the film while watching it. Needless to say, there were a lot of “come on man’s” going on along with a plethora of eye rolls.”

While Maze Runner: The Death Cure doesn’t prove as entertaining as the first film, it’s not unwatchable, especially if one’s tolerance for these types of films is fairly high. At the end of the day I felt that it was conventional, minimally entertaining, thanks in part to a top-notch home theater ride, and provides fans with the opportunity to revisit these characters/events one last time.

Fans who purchase Maze Runner: The Death Cure on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray and DVD will be rewarded with an exclusive 24-page prequel origins comic book written by screenwriter T.S. Nowlin. The trilogy boxset is also releasing April 24 on Blu-ray and DVD and includes the three films in the series and the exclusive comic book. The Blu-ray trilogy will include an exclusive Maze Runner bandana chosen by fans.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic elements for and intense sequences of sci-fi action/violence, including some disturbing images.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
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Maze Runner: The Death Cure comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Maze Runner: The Death Cure was derived from a 3.4K source. I wasn’t able to determine whether it was rendered from 2K or 4K DI. This is an excellent Ultra HD presentation that looks great on my large screen. What struck me from the onset is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera's lens. Whether it be the finest minutia in physical features or rough textures on the surfaces of buildings, streets, interiors of rock hewn hideouts, or the vistas of the shooting locations, the imagery is gorgeous. The benefits of high dynamic range and wide color gamut are on display as earth toned colors have an added dimension that enlivens shots where they would normally have blended in, being seen as a less provocative background element that would generally go unnoticed.

Whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually rewarding level. The specular highlights during the various explosions, small arms fire and fiery inferno in the finale look terrific. Shot digitally, this rendering reproduces its elements with aplomb. Looking at the 1080p version, which is solid as well, the difference is noticeable, but not what I would describe as night and day. That being said, there is no question about which of the two makes for the more gratifying viewing experience.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects is a mix atmospherics, discrete effects and music. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the first act, there are several instances where the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field. Beginning with the opening scene train rescue, there are a host of sounds that utilize the overhead channels, creating an involving listening experience. This continues with the film’s action-based sequences, most notably the assault on WCKD beginning in chapter 18, that convey the breadth/expanse of the soundstage as the track bristles with enveloping ambience and discretely placed effects. While these sequences sound very good in the standard mix, they are taken to the next level in the Amos mix.

Overall, I would say that viewing Maze Runner: The Death Cure in Ultra HD with the Dolby Atmos mix definitely heightened the experience of watching the film.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

Video quality is solid and delivers images that are highly detailed and artifact free. Detail reproduction is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with crystal clear definition that is at times, meticulously resolved. Long distant camera pans are smooth and three dimensional in perspective with well-articulated minutia. Blacks are stable and deep with appreciable dynamic range. Contrast is emboldened and stable so that colors and whites pop while not appearing overdriven. Fleshtones are lifelike and reflective of the varying complexional types among the cast. The video had a sharp, pristine quality that looked great.

This lossless soundtrack is excellent and features wide dynamic range, superlative clarity and high-level detail. Dialog is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it is located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers within the acoustic space it occupies in the soundstage. Front and rear channel imaging is excellent. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable.

The music score, coupled with the integration of discrete and atmospheric surround sound effects, plays an intricate role in this active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. The atmospheric effects associated with the various environments featured in the story sound engagingly real. Low frequency effects are applied authoritatively and underscore the audio presentation with aplomb. Its palpable presence is never in question as it renders refined bass quality that kicks nicely and extends deep enough to engage the room.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Maze Runner: The Death Cure Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Maze Runner: The Death Cure Blu-ray
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin, and Joe Hartwick Jr. (BD and Digital Only)
    • 4 Featurettes: The Final Run” , “Dystopia”, “Allies Reunited”, “A Look Back”, “Going Out on Top” (BD and Digital only)
    • Gag Reel (BD and Digital only)
    • Visual Effects with Optional Commentary (BD and Digital only)
    • Audio Commentary by Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin and Joe Hartwick Jr. (on DVD, BD, UHD, and digital, but will not be available for boxed clients)
    • Gallery (over 300 images; BD and digital)
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Based on the book of the same name by James Dashner, Maze Runner: The Death Cure is a third and final film installment of the post-apocalyptic adventure series. I didn't find this installment to be as much fun as the original or as conventionally gratifying as its predecessor but, it closes out the series and probably musters enough merit to keep forgiving genre fans entertained. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, featuring an excellent Ultra HD video rendering, top notch high definition video, room filling lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and a fair supplemental package. If you already have the first two installments Maze Runner: The Death Cure is worth considering, if for no other reason than to experience it on Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems