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GUARANTEED FRESH as of Thursday September 20, 2018 at 1:56 pm Listings are for Friday 9/21 through Thursday 9/27

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Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

When will futuristic dystopian leaders learn? Never mess with teenagers; they'll bring you down every time. (See for reference: the Divergent series, the Hunger Games series, et al.). Despite its strict adherence to the tropes of the genre, the second installment of the Maze Runner series makes for some exciting post-apocalyptic entertainment. It's mostly a bunch of personality-deficient kids running from evil adults and the occasional zombie horde, but the pace is breathless and the production design is impeccably bleak. This one plays mighty fast and loose with James Dashner's original novels (which don't make a whole lot of sense anyway), so it's hard to tell how hardcore YA lit fans will react. But the mediocre script and gripping action is probably enough to carry audiences into a third film. 131 minutes PG-13.