A bunch of teens, including amnesiac Dylan O’Brien, is held captive in an impenetrable and ever-changing maze.

Things get off to an intriguing start, with O’Brien awakening in an ascending freight elevator to find himself deposited in the Glade, a grassy clearing enclosed by tall concrete walls and inhabited by a tribe of teenage boys.

The story remains absorbing as he learns about the various Lord of the Flies-type cliques and factions among his fellows and the strange environment in which they are imprisoned. Why are they being held captive and can the maze that lies beyond the Glade’s walls be successfully penetrated?

Amid teasing clues to possible answers, the arrival of a lone girl (Kaya Scodelario) piques our interest further.

There are thrills, too, when O’Brien defies obstinate bully Will Poulter and braves the spider-like creatures occupying the maze in a bid to find a way out.

In this first movie of James Dashner’s bestselling trilogy, the characters engage and there are impressive bursts of action, but it does run out of puff with an infuriating ending that sets things up for the next instalment.