- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- If one looks at Alby before he's stung, he seems to be a similar Well-Intentioned Extremist to Gally. After all the rules are his idea — including banishing those who have been stung to the maze. Could Alby have gone off the deep end like Gally if the situation had been different?
- It's also not hard to look at Gally's motivations as being mere jealousy — as Thomas seems to assume a de-facto leader role after Alby is stung. Gally's real dislike doesn't come into play until after the others are cheering him on for saving Alby. So it's possible Gally is just jealous of Thomas's desire to do something and the fact that he can motivate the others to follow him while Gally can't — and he just hides behind his "keeping everyone safe" reasoning.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Minho is one of the favorite characters of the film, due to his display of badassery at numerous points and being a non-stereotypical Asian character.
- Funny Moments: When Teresa wakes up, Thomas finds her at the top of a lookout tower — throwing anything she can find at the boys below to keep them away. It provides much needed comic relief in such a serious story.Chuck: Girls are awesome.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film topped the Korean Box Office when it opened there, and foreign films rarely do as well. It grossed the Korean equivalent of $5 billion there. This was largely in part due to Minho's actor Ki Hong Lee being born in South Korea.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Seeing Thomas duck and dive under so many Grievers is a little hard to watch with the knowledge that Dylan O'Brien was severely injured doing stunts on the third film — delaying its production for months.
- He Really Can Act:
- For those who had only seen Dylan O'Brien on Teen Wolf, they were blown away with his performance here. Director Wes Ball was even reluctant to cast him because of his "MTV hair" but was quickly won over with an audition. He ended up named one of the breakout stars of 2014.
- And those who only knew Will Poulter for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and We're the Millers, he turns in a layered performance that changes Gally from straight up antagonist to Anti-Villain. His death is very much Alas, Poor Villain.
- Heartwarming Moments:
- Thomas remembering his name during a scuffle with Gally. He looks so excited and happy to have his name back, and it marks a sense of allegiance with the other boys.
- Thomas and Chuck's late night talk about the latter's parents. Chuck basically says in other words that he views Thomas as a surrogate family.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Will Poulter's character misses out on getting lost in the wilderness after his death. In The Revenant he's finally included in a trek across the wilderness.
- Jerkass Woobie: Gally in the film just wants to keep the peace and make sure everyone is safe. Although he's a dick and eventually crosses the Moral Event Horizon, everything he does is out of a desire to ensure everyone's safety. He's an antagonist but definitely an Anti-Villain.
- Moral Event Horizon: Gally wanting Thomas to answer for his actions? Acceptable. Gally wanting to feed him to the Grievers with no way to defend himself? Not so much.
- Narm Charm: "Wicked is good" is a rather on-the-nose set of villain Arc Words. But Patricia Clarkson makes it effectively creepy.
- One-Scene Wonder: Patricia Clarkson only appears in brief snippets of Thomas's memories until her little video at the end. But damn sure if she isn't memorably creepy.
- Tear Jerker:
- There's Ben being forced to go back into the maze because he's been stung. No-one wants to do it, but it has to be done to protect everyone else. Thomas and Minho later find what are clearly remnants of his clothes, implying a Griever killed him.
- Gally being at the Despair Event Horizon after being stung by a Griever and making it into the same room where Thomas and the other survivors are.Gally: We can't leave.
Thomas: We did. Gally, we're out. We're free.
Gally: Free? You think we're free out there? No. No, there's no escape from this place.
Thomas: Gally, listen to me. You're not thinking straight. You're not. Now, we can help you. Just put down the gun.
Gally: I belong to the maze. [aims gun at Thomas, clearly tearing up]
Thomas: Just put down the gun.
Gally: We all do.
- Chuck's death. Thomas had just about managed to hold it together in spite of the hell he'd gone through. But at this point he just loses it and cries over him.
- Too Cool to Live: Alby is the Team Dad and big brother figure of the Gladers. Of course he's going to get stung by a Griever early on, and even when he's cured he's of course got to go down in a Heroic Sacrifice.
- What an Idiot!: Thomas has just been dumped in the glade and is greeted by its inhabitants.
You'd Expect: This being a song and dance all these characters are well acquainted with, Thomas would be sat down (by force if necessary), then told in detail the exact conditions of his new life. It is in their absolute best interests to make sure every new person that pops up becomes a contributing member of their society after all.
Instead: The characters only give the barest of explanations as to what's going on, pointedly refusing to even mention the maze, and then they act like it's his fault when he gets curious about it. The only reason they behave this way is because the alternative would have been a clunky exposition dump.
- It's worth noting that his treatment is still infinitely better than it was in the original book, where characters were distant at best and hostile at worst when he came around asking questions.
- And along with that, Thomas is said to be unlike the others in how curious he os, implying that the group give each new member time to calm down and settle before explaining everything.
YMMV / The Maze Runner (2014)