Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) Poster

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The best Ninja Turtles Action movie of all time my number 1 personal favorite
ivo-cobra810 October 2015
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) is actually a cult classic Epic Action film and one of the best movies. It is one of my personal favorite comic book films and it is also one of my childhood favorites. It is my number 1 personal favorite Ninja Turtles movie! I love this movie to death it defines my childhood I grew up watching this movie! You haven't already rated the movie well, please do so we can push the current 6.7 rating as high as it can go!! As a lifelong Turtles fan, I can honestly say that everything about this movie works. From the casting, to the fight scenes, to the music, there is nothing that I would have done any differently. There is just enough comedy, each turtle is given their own unique, identifiable, and believable personality, and the story is fast paced and gripping. Jim Henson's people did a stunning job on the Turtles themselves, and the Shredder looks even better than he did in the Cartoons. The film really pays homage to the original comics by introducing Casey Jones, dealing with Raphael's anger. Here they are Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michaelangelo are bad ass. Splinter, Tatso, Casey Jones they are all bad ass including Raphael. My favorite best movie.

There is everything I love in this film. The acting, Jim Henson's creature shop were awesome. Fighting scenes, the foot clan, children who steals for foot clan. All characters are awesome. The cast, the plot everything is Terrific in this film. Why rebooting this film? Why? The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) is the only film for me that I absolutely love to death! I grew up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I had an album of the animated series from 1987, I was collecting action figure from the third film that failed. I grew up watching this film and is always my favorite best action movie of the 90's I have ever seen. The fight stunts are awesome, the Acton sequences are amazing. Everything is just great in this film.

The film has some Drama in it, the character development between the Turtles and Splinter was really touching and amazing. Another character development in this film that touches me is between Danny and Charles a father and son. That scene is so touching.

Judith Hoag did an amazing awesome Terrific job as April O'Neil, a reporter for Channel 3 News she acted her character very serious and convincing. For me April O'Neal will always and only be Judith Hoag. I don't get it why was she replaced in the sequels which that didn't just work. Elias Koteas did an amazing performance as Casey Jones, a street wise vigilante who becomes an ally of the Turtles. He was the only Casey Jones for me he kicked ass! Seriously he did!!

The fight scene on the end of the film is the best I have ever saw. Here the foot clans and Ninja Turtles are using weapons. Like foot clans use Axes in April's apartment to kill the Turtles, but they failed. One of the foot clan Ninja's used a nunchaku weapons similar to Michelangelo weapons. The fight scene with Raphael on the roof was fantastic one of the best scenes in the film I love. This film is highly entertained, it is fast paced, not too over long or boring or lame it is a are real true Comic book Ninja Turtles film. It also has a heart bringing a family together like Danny and Charles father and son together when they were falling apart. The fight scene with Turtles and The Shredder was the best scene in the film, the combat was awesome. Tough the Turtles were no match for him, Leonardo was the only one that wounded him with his sword. The last fight scene when Splinter faces The Shredder is the best thing in a film that ever happened. Splinter come on the roof he confront Shredder and in final showdown he defeat Shredder. Shredder attacked him and Splinter throw's him with Michelangelo's nunchakus and says: "Death comes for us all Oroku Saki but when you Die it will be without.....honor." And Shredder try's to stab him and Splinter let's him fall in a dumpster! End and Death of Shredder in the original movie.

The film opened at the box office in North America on March 30, 1990, entering at #1 over the weekend and taking in more than $25 million.

I love this film is my childhood film and Judith Hoag is the only April O'Neil for me. Elias Koteas will always be Casey Jones for me. I love this film to death! I love it. I love it to death!!! The best movie in the whole world.

What else would you want in this film? There are a lot of martial arts in it. There were plenty used of weapons in the film: Leonardo used twin Ninja-Tou, steel swords of usually inferior make to samurai swords, roughly sharpened and straight bladed, Donatello wielded a bo, a staff made of tapered hard wood, Raphael wielded two sai (both singular and plural), dagger-shaped truncheons with two curved prongs and Michelangelo fought with twin nunchaku. Fight clan also used Axes. I love also the music score by John Du Prez and I love the song 9.95 Performed by Spunkadelic. 10/10
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I remember them! Long live the "TMNT"!
dee.reid6 June 2004
I recently bought an old VHS copy of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" and I must say that this movie is still great even after 14 years. Now first let me that this is the only faithful film in the "TMNT" trilogy of movies released during the early '90s.

This film, released at the height of "Turtlemania" in the summer of 1990, raked in $133 million at the box office, quickly making it the highest grossing independent film of all time. That's good considering it also faced heavy competition from another comic book adaptation that year, "Dick Tracy," which was directed by Warren Beatty and was quite groundbreaking, on its own terms of course.

Though the film is more in touch with the toned-down animated series of the same title, its roots are squarely in the original comics created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. This film is violent (it DID push the limits of its "PG" rating in some spots, especially with some intense moments, many of which dealt with teenage crime and alienation, and some particularly brutal fight sequences) and is quite dark and actually kind of scary. This is by far the most mature, moving, and tense film in the series and we should thank director Steve Barron for making sure his vision of the Turtles did not stray off course (unlike the sequels).

I was a huge Turtle freak growing up, and I still have many of my original action figures and other memorabilia. I only recently purchased Eastman and Laird's line of graphic novels from First and I must say that they're quite excellent and they take me back to the Turtles' roots. It is quite obvious that this line of graphic novels served as the main source of inspiration for the film. One particularly big difference between the comics and the film is that the literary source material is quite violent (and not to mention very bloody in some spots).

Many people may look at this film today (in 2004) and they might say this film has not aged well. All I can say is that they did not have CGI taking control of every single action sequence to make up for lack of real stunt work. The performers inside the Turtle costumes acted quite excellently considering what they went through to become our four, high-kicking reptilian heroes.

I remember reading a little while back that Hong Kong director John Woo had expressed interest in remaking the Turtles movie. I hope not for two reasons: 1) If the Turtles were to be remade, it would most likely be based off of the current running "TMNT" cartoon series, which is crap and 2) The original 1990 film is fine the way it is and does not need to be touched by the greasy hands of today's Hollywood.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" is the best adaptation of the comics so far, and I loved it. It is one of the best comic-to-film adaptations of all time and should be preserved. "TMNT" forever!

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This movie rocks! One of my favorite childhood memories!
Smells_Like_Cheese12 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Ah good times good times, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one of my favorite cartoons as a kid and I absolutely loved the comics as well. This was such a great concept, I mean look at the title, who knew, right? Turtles that fight crime, talk like surfers, and eat pizza, but we bought it and rooted them on! So obviously the creators wanted to cash in on this great story and we got the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Guess what? It was awesome! This is one of my favorite movies from the 90's, I'm in my 20's now for goodness' sake and I still watch this. I can't help it, it's just such a fun movie and the great thing about this movie that despite it was made more for kids, it had a dark edge to it that it was also made for the adults as well.

April O'Neil, an investigative reporter at Channel 3 Eyewitness News, is researching a story on a recent, immense crime wave in New York City. She is later rescued by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a group of street thieves. As the Turtles are celebrating their victory, an ex-hockey player called Casey Jones, having become a vigilante to combat the crime wave, is shown beating two thieves with his sports equipment and arguing with Raphael over the proper way to punish criminals. The crime wave is traced by April to the Foot Clan; the Foot Ninjas attack her and knock her unconscious, Raphael rescues he. As the Turtles escort April back to her apartment, where they remain for some hours, the Foot raid the Turtles' lair and kidnap Splinter. They carry him back to their headquarters, where their master Shredder is forming an army of corrupted, ninja-trained teenagers to build himself an empire of crime. One of those teenagers is Danny, the son of April's boss; having seen the Turtles at her apartment, he tells Shredder where to find them. The Foot therefore launch a surprise attack on April's apartment. Outnumbered and surprised, the turtles are finally defeated, they may have lost the battle, but it's time for war to get their Splinter back.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of those movies that just rocks because it has awesome action sequences, fun actors, and just a great story. I miss writing like this because it seems like more movies that are made with superhero's for the kids now-a-days are more cheesy. This was not made to insult anyone's intelligence, I mean, like I said before these are pizza eating vigilante fighting talking turtles yet we believed it. Not to mention that there is a talking rat, I know it's kind of a weird little puppet they created, but still he's like the Chinese Yoda that always makes a classic "funny" at just the right time. His last scene with Splinter was short, sweet, and effective. This is a movie I will show to my kids when I have a family one day and will still watch with a smile on my face.

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A Great Film
Quinoa198420 January 2000
Ninja Turtles. Anyone born in the 1980's remembers the phenomenon that swept the country during the late 80's and early 90's. And this movie proves what was once a big icon fad that was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This movie is well made for a kids movie, and it is my favorite of the series of films. I even like this more than the TV show. It has more drama and action than the other parts. And it's dark, I like that in a kids movie.
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This makes it clear...darker is better
OptikMatrix15 June 2002
On your first read of the title, you may think "Ah...the Ninja Turtles...kid's stuff". That conclusion is partially understandable, considering the fact that most people's minds drift towards the Saturday morning cartoon show, which was made for little kids. But if you are one of the handful of people who remembers the original TMNT comic book and how dark it was, you will probably think more of the name. This live-action version of the Teenaged Turtles reaches back into its comic book origins and sacrifices the kiddie stuff in favor of a darker, more brooding film. This is the key to this movie's greatness. It shows the Turtles how they were meant to be shown. The movie is still fun, though, supplying the viewer with all the early 90's teenager slang and ass-kicking that you can squeeze onto celuloid. The only problem is that the whole Ninja Turtles franchise has come with a love it or hate it tag attached to it, often times giving it a bad rap that it really doesn't deserve. The film is no Blade Runner or Spiderman by any means, but it's still a great little piece of cinema that you can just sit down with a bowl of popcorn (or maybe a pizza) and enjoy without much thought. Sadly, this is as good as the series gets (not that this movie could get much better). The sequels (TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze and TMNT 3) aren't really that great. TMNT 2 lacks the gritty edge that makes this movie good (having Vanilla Ice on the soundtrack doesn't help much either) and TMNT 3 is obviously aimed directly for the little ones. This is the great little movie. COWABUNGA!!!
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One of the most Underrated movies ever!
The Yeti30 June 2004
I speak out on behalf of all fans of the TMNT!

This is not a bad movie!

You might say it has no storyline but I say it's kept simplistic for all the comic book fans. You don't want to confuse people with a massive complex tale. No one argues with 'Enter the Dragon' having a bad storyline!

The characters in this movie are wonderfully set up. Right from the start we see that Raphael has issues. This anger forces him to distance himself and in the process we feel his fury. We immerse ourselves in the character and see how deep he can go. From woefully staring into New York from a rooftop or letting out a frenzy upon the gang that has literally knocked April to the ground we are getting to know the character inside and out. This is the hero of the movie. As for the comedic cheek of Casey Jones or the light-hearted double wisecracks of Michaelangelo and Donatello, I'd love to see the reason behind this movie having "no character study" as some people might say.

The action scenes are set up within the constraints of a normal fun movie with great camera angles just dying to be put on an advert or poster.

The turtle effects by the Jim Henson creature shop don't disappoint even though Splinter looks like he walked straight off the set of 'Labyrinth'. The turtles are so good you shouldn't care anyway. The animatronics are fab and the voice characterisation is well chosen.

As for the main blessing, Steve Barron has chosen a dark tone for his movie. The original comic book would have been made proud by this attempt at making the movie more adult than people could believe. The crime-filled backdrops of New York make a great battleground, and the whole mythological element that all crime is ruled by a master ninja adds to the drama. The soundtrack couldn't be better for the beginning.

This is a fantastic movie and horribly underrated. With so many great elements this goes down as one of the all time great fantasy adventures. 10 out of 10 and a cowabunga to boot!
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This movie will always be a part of me...
sublimital_death16 May 2002
I was just a little kid when I first started collecting turtle stuff, Comics, figures, and trade cards, as well as many other things.. I remember one day I came home to find that my mother had thrown out every action figure and card I had, as well as most of my comics.. She replaced them with a phone and a fish tank.. She said I was getting too old for kid toys, and that I would grow out of them any way.. I was about 9... So when the movie was released I was the first one there on the first day it was released to theaters.. I collected some of the figures later on, but I never had a collection that was even close to my first.. I have almost every cartoon movie made on tape, several copies of all three live action movies, and this one on DVD... I never grew out of the turtles, and I know I never will.. I know all three movies word for word... When every one grows up, a part of them, a big part dies, and we forget what we loved so much as children.. Our Imagination dies, and an adult is born.. I simply refuse to let my heros go.. While the years pass and the turtles are forgotten, they will forever be a reminder to me of the times I could spend hours on end with nothing but myself and my action figures that came to life right in front of me with nothing more than my imagination....
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Adheres to the characters pretty well, and it's still cool.
Mr-Fusion1 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I think we can all agree that "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is probably the best we'll see of a live-action outing. And that's fine, 'cause this baby still holds up. Pretty damn well, actually. You've gotta love the hokey charm inherent in a movie starring four guys in rubber suits, but there's also some heart to this story - not to mention it's fairly serious, the bad guy runs a criminal empire made up of errant kids. But it's not a downer. When the movie engages its playful side, it's a lot of fun. This goes mostly Mikey and Donny. They get all the memorable one-liners, great camaraderie, and they're the comedic backbone. I found myself laughing a lot more than I'd expected at those two. Also, Elias Koteas; dude totally embraced this kids' stuff and makes Casey Jones one of the movie's best features.

There's some warm nostalgia here, but the it works best as the comic movie that it is.

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As a 90's person, this is one of the most underrated and overlooked films
After the success of the 1987 cartoon series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Golden Harvest and Steve Barron (who would later direct The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1996) team up to direct a live action adaptation in 1990. Four turtles and a rat are transformed into a humanized state by a mutagenetic gel in a sewer. The rat becomes their mentor, and teaches them all he knows regarding Jujitsu. The turtles use their newfound skills to combat the crime in New York City. But when their mentor is captured by an enemy from the past known as the Shredder, they have to learn to be true to what they've learned, and stay together as a brotherhood in order to defeat him. Despite it's mixed reception, it became one of the highest grossing movies of that year during the beginning of the decade.

I've heard about the whole of concept of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I've seen some of the episodes of the 80s cartoon along with some other interpretations including the 2003 version and the CGI animated feature film from 2007.

Back at the decade where I grew up, there have been underrated and overlooked films and other types of media, and this is one of them. Yes, Donatello may not sound like the intellectual who invents machines (although Corey Feldman does a great job with his voiceover), but everything else is done really well. The story does a fine job. Not only does it pay homage to the 1980s cartoon, but it handles the darker tone of the comics the franchise is based on perfectly while adding some hilarious comedy. The turtles themselves and Master Splinter are really likable and maintain the iconic personalities everyone knows and loves and the actors did a really good job. Also, the animatronics from the Jim Henson company (who brought us The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth) are superb and unique. Not to mention the creators did a great job in making them exactly like the turtles and the rat thanks to some neat expressions.

The other actors did a good job too especially Judith Hoag who played April O'Neil. James Saito, who would later star in Life of Pi, does a great job as the villainous Shredder and Elias Koteas who played Casey Jones. Oh, and to those who don't know, Sam Rockwell, who played the Head Thug would later star in Iron Man 2 as Justin Hammer. Everything else, including the solid editing, the superb directing, and a really neat music score, is also great.

Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a perfect example of a live action adaptation done right. It respects the source material and doesn't pander to it's audience (*cough* Chipmunks and Smurfs *cough*). Now that it's been thirty years since it's release, I'm giving this a thumbs up. Do yourselves a favor and check this movie out.
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The best movie ever made on the subject of radio active turtles
doozer3334 May 2001
I dare anyone to hate this movie. Come on. I triple dog dare you. Sit in front of the TV with a bunch of your friends and just try not to like it. You can't. It's impossible. I was a full fledged turtle fan back in the day (I don't think the fad lasted long enough for us to earn Trekker-type names) and of course at that point, I thought it was the Gone With the Wind of our time. That, obviously, it's not. But there is something just incredibly charming about a bunch of giant turtles acting like typical sit-com kids. One even gets yelled out for sneaking out past curfew to see Critters 2. If it comes on TV, even my dad has to pause to watch at least one fight scene. If someone in a college dorm pops it in, legions of kids will exclaim "Holy sh*t! Is that Ninja Turtles?" and then plop right down in front of the TV to watch. You have to give a lot of credit to the guys who made this film. It was released in the height of the craze so they could have thrown anything on the screen and it would have been a hit. (See Ninja Turtles 2). But instead, they tried to make it the best film they could, despite the subject matter. They came up with an almost relevant, after school special type plot. The jokes and references range from Moonlighting to John Steinbeck, and the fight scenes are done in the spirit of a Jackie Chan flick. Add the fact that there are giant turtles doing the fighting, and you get a funny, imaginative, and just plain likeable movie no matter what your age. Sure, it's about pizza loving ninja turtles. But it is the best movie that could ever be made about pizza loving ninja turtles. That has to count for something.
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Cowabunga dude
bevo-136782 April 2020
Mutant turtles who love nothing better than fighting and eating pizza. Well who doesn't???
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This stands the test of time and is an underrated family movie
kevin_robbins27 January 2022
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) is a movie my daughter and I watched together on HBOMAX. The storyline follows four mutated turtles who are led by a mutated rat and live in the sewers of New York. The city is being overrun by an underground gang of foot soldiers that make the streets unsafe. The turtles will partner with a local news reporter and vigilante to confront the foot soldiers and their leaders to make the streets safe again.

This movie is directed by Steve Barron (Coneheads) and stars Judith Hoag (Hitchcock), Corey Feldman (Lost Boys), Elias Koteas (The Prophecy), Brian Tochi (Revenge of the Nerds), Josh Pais (Joker) and Sam Rockwell (Jojo Rabbit)."

The costumes used looked authentic enough and believable for a live action movie about this legendary cartoon series. This aged well. I can't say I loved the way Splinter was depicted, but Feldman was a great addition to the cast. The dialogue is well written and I loved Kacey Jones. I wasn't a huge fan of April. The fight scenes and settings were all very entertaining. It is hard not to get lost in nostalgia while watching this.

This stands the test of time and is an underrated family movie. I would score this a 9/10 and strongly recommend it.
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There's no CGI here, just pure rubber, rubber, rubber; it's absolutely beautiful.
Pjtaylor-96-13804416 February 2018
There's no CGI in this bodacious, brazen, balls-to-the-wall blast of pure butt-kicking, nineties-slang spewing and turtle-y awesome fun, just pure rubber, rubber, rubber and it is absolutely beautiful. If you don't have a smile on your face from beginning to end, I can't help you my friend, because there's almost nothing more entertaining than these four teenage turtles just doing their thing, even if it is a bit camp and strangely slow on occasion. Mikey loves being a turtle and it's easy to see why; this is simply some of the most fun I've had in a long time (also one of the best comedies I've watched in a while) and it reminds me just how bad the joyless remake really is. It finds a perfect balance between levity and seriousness, meaning that you're constantly smiling and everything just adds to the absolute joy of it all. It's also surprisingly action-packed and well-versed in that area, too. A blast from beginning to end. 7/10
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A cult classic.
mehpie30 January 2005
Whether film buffs would ever admit it or not, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is a classic film, arguably way before its time. Although for the die-hard fans of the comic book this movie did lack the apparent actual violence it did instead have great dramatic scenes blended in with witty comedic lines.

With a dark tone and gritty cinematography filmed with fantastic sets and locations around New York this 90s movie is far from something to be pigeonholed 'just for kids' or a 'family movie'.

The aforementioned 'surfer dialogue' criticised in other reviews can be put down to personal taste, as the majority of fans do find this lingo both entertaining and quote-worthy. Who could forget Splinter exclaiming "I... have always liked... COWABUNGA!!" Casey Jones is one of the greatest characters in film for a long time and the performances given throughout, even though can be labelled slightly b-grade, are lovable all the same from Chief Sterns to Charles and Master Tatsu. The angst of Raphael to the cheekiness of Michelangelo there is nothing not to like about the characters in this movie.

The musical score is great and ranges from intense to comical - very fitting for a movie that is exactly that in its mood, without becoming corny unlike its follow-up films. MC Hammer creates the best songs of his career. Shameless fun.

All of the scenes are special in different ways to different fans of this cult classic; from Casey Jones vs Raphael in the park to the Antique Store battle.

Extremely under-rated. One of the best comic-book adaptations ever made and one of the defining films in a LOT of people's childhoods. A fantastic film for anyone with direction and storyline that remains highly enjoyable through the test of time.

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The heroes in a half-shell go live-action
Antzy8827 June 2001
The once-very-popular Turtles, who are trained in the martial arts courtesy of their master, a rat named Splinter, are duty-bound to save the city from a group of youths that are known as The Foot, who have been stealing and committing crimes within the area. They end up befriending a young reporter named April O'Neill, who reads the news on the local TV station, after she is rescued from an attack from The Foot. Once she is home our shelled friends find that The Foot has captured Splinter, and so must rescue him and face the might of The Foot's leader -- Shredder! I was already familiar with the cartoon series (that had apparently been censored somewhat on its arrival in the UK for fear that children would copy the martial artistry), so I was a little dubious as to whether this would work in live-action. Strangely enough, even when I saw it for the first time in 1991, aged 18, I enjoyed it! It was brilliantly done, Shredder looked particularly menacing (as did his right-hand man Tatsu), and Splinter's voice sometimes moved you almost to tears, especially with the charming musical score. The martial arts action is quite well done (although Michelangelo did not have his Nunchaku weapon that his comic-book and video game version does), and the dark look of the whole thing suits it perfectly. This is certainly worth a look.
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A Movie that Changed my Life
blacknight59529 January 2006
As a new generation turns 18-20 this movie was vital for many growing up. It WAS their Saturday morning routine. A necessary part of growing up, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instilled values for a generation. Both the movie and the TV show were key in this upcoming generation's development and coming of age. I recently watched this movie again for the first time in a decade, and yes it was cheesy and tacky. However, that doesn't make it bad in anyway. There are some complex issues going on beneath the surface here. First, this movie was released close to the peak of crime wave that occurred across the country in the early 1990's. A city lost in crime is saved by a few of the next generation's heroes, who are nothing more than teenagers on a quest for pizza. Second, there is a definite connection between Splinter and Jesus when he is nailed up to a wall and talking to his "sons". Many reading my comments may laugh because, lets face it, the idea of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is hilarious, but the movie spoke to a specific generation at a specific time and as a period piece it can still be appreciated. This was more than just a movie; it defined a generation. Even if the movie makes no sense go with it and watch it for the ridiculous 1990's dialogue...Its funny, enjoy!
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One of the most underrated children's films of all time
bowmanblue27 December 2014
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the movie.' Was it a hit? It's hard to tell. Yes, it made a fair amount of money at the box office and spawned a couple of (awful, straight to video) sequels, yet it always comes across as quite an 'unloved' little number. Basically, a lot of people objected to its 'dark tone.' The cartoon/comic source material it was based on was decidedly cheery. Therefore, some objected to setting the film in the dark, seedy back alleys of New York. So, it looks like something Tim Burton would make, yet, every few lines, the writers throw in some hip 'one-liner' to lighten the mood. These two aspects kind of contradict each other. Still... I enjoyed it.

However, now I've watched it as an adult, I do see that it's a pretty basic film. Each line/scene is absolutely essential to moving the plot on. We're introduced to the turtles pretty quickly, given a whistle-stop explanation as to how they became man-sized and brilliant at martial arts, then rushed to the next vital plot-point. Rinse and repeat.

I'm not sure how the 'youth of today' would find the film. They may think it's all a little tame. The turtles have just been remade and there's loads of high-action, computer-generated action scenes like it's something out of a Marvel superhero movie. In the 1990 version the most 'special' the special effects ever reached are having someone thrown through a window.

Whether the 1990 version will stand up to the test of time is one thing. However, if you watched it during its heyday then you should have a natural appreciation for the film which will keep it alive for at least a few generations to come (at least enough of us parents should be able to force our kids to watch it and hopefully keep it alive for a little while longer).
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lukem-5276025 July 2018
Tmnt (1990) is really & truly an absolute CLASSIC FILM & one of the greatest comic book films ever MADE!!! With it's very dark atmosphere & crime infested view of new york it almost fit into the Death Wish franchise!!! The 4 BRILLIANT turtles fight crime in a very dark & dangerous & wet new york city & this makes the movie much more interesting & not just a kids film!!! I grew up with this movie & it's great sequel & love both movies but of course this 1990 original is the masterpiece & best tmnt movie ever made. Casey Jones is fantastic in this & has NEVER been bettered EVER!!! shredder is fantastic & scary & intimidating & not cartoony at all so he makes a good threat & all the fx are amazing!!! The sewers base is fantastic & this has the best April O'Neill EVER!!! Splinter is Amazing & again the best he's ever looked!!! This is truly a childhood classic of mine & a BRILLIANT comic book movie in it's own right. This still wipes the floor with all that MARVEL crap these days!!! Tmnt 1990 is a perfect Tmnt film & a perfect comic book movie
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T-U-R-T-L-E... Power
flask10 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Like it or not, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1990) created a cultural phenomenon that defined the early 1990s. The four characters gained eminence in a receptive era when rap music, backward baseball caps, sticker-laden skateboards, Pizza Huts and video arcades were considered "as cool as Vanilla Ice." If you did not own a turtle figurine or comic book, you were typecast in elementary school as a guilt-ridden "loser" who listened to the ABC Kids. In retrospect, a critic is hard-pressed to separate that cultural phenomenon from the film itself.

The film, incidentally, is pretty good. Yes, the characters and plot were outlandish even for the comic book universe from which they spawned: Four pet-store turtles and a rat named Splinter come in contact with nuclear ooze that transforms them into human-sized beings. Splinter is their martial arts teacher and the turtles his obedient students: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. Along the way, we meet peppy news reporter April O'Neil (Judith Hoag), a hockey-masked vigilante named Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) and a memorably-named villain: the Shredder (James Saito).

The soundtrack of film soundtrack was an instant classic. It featured John Du Prez, Spunkadelic ("9.95"), Hi Tek 3 ("Spin That Wheel") and the ever-boisterous M.C. Hammer -- a famous rapper who went bankrupt and became a born-again preacher.

Although numerous parent groups attacked the green foursome, they neglected the positive influence the bizarre characters had on suburban communities. The ninja turtle phenomenon compelled inner city kids with troubled backgrounds to join martial arts schools. Sappily put, the turtles helped kids channel their youthful energies into less destructive pastimes: ... like... beating up other kids after leaving martial arts class.

Yes, overly-serious news commentators argued that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the pinnacle of societal absurdity and perhaps not the best role model for kids; however, these individuals overlook the fundamental principle of childhood: To be enraptured with the most bizarre things and attain enjoyment no matter what the cost. In the end, who should begrudge children their bliss?
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Watch it and thank me later
TheOneThatYouWanted20 November 2021
Why is it that a 30 year old film has more believable special effects than most of the films out today? Whatever, this film is probably one of the best comic book movies ever made. It doesn't go overboard and does not come off as low budget.
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An oddity, in a totally positive way.
pootc14 February 2006
This movie is an oddity, and I mean this in a totally positive way. When I was young I watched the cartoon, I saw the film as a kid too and liked it. What I've realised today is it's really a film for kids and adults alike, offering enjoyable action scenes and hilarious humour while also providing a surprisingly dark narrative. The feelings of loss, and the importance of family are ever present in this film and the Turtles play the part to perfection, leaving you to empathize with their state while the villains are brutal and merciless, offering no compassion or remorse. It's a classic tale of good verses evil and right verses wrong. The characters in this film are all extremely likable; the creature effects are surprisingly good and with so many scenes playing out so well it's hard not to enjoy the whole package. Many critics disagree, but this movie rocked when I was a kid, and it still rocks today! Cowabunga dudes!
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The Best Movie in the Series by Far
kingbk-23 May 2017
Forget the "kid friendly" sequels, forget the Michael Bay remakes, forget the CGI experiment. This, right here, is and still remains the definitive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This got the vision laid out by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird most accurately: A dark, edgy, tongue-in- cheek parody to Frank Martin, Daredevil, Cerebus and New Mutants. Sure, you still had some of the cartoon elements thrown in for good measure (the colored masks, the surfer lingo), but compare this one to the other movies and this one followed the closest to the original comic book series, which was written for adults. The violence has been toned down significantly, as has the cursing, but it's there, on a lower level. As a kid, I was confused about why this was so dark and almost scary. Later, reading the underrated comic books, I learned this was what TMNT was originally envisioned as. Eventually, toy sales and Saturday morning TV won over the comic book, but here, for one brief movie, the turtles, as they were meant to be seen by their original creators, got their time in the sun. The writing isn't terrific and the acting not award winning, but still a fun movie to watch from time to time.
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fun kids movie
SnoopyStyle15 November 2017
A silent crime wave is hitting NYC perpetrated by teenagers led by Master Tatsu. Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) is a former hockey player vigilante. Intrepid reporter April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) is attacked by the Foot Clan led by Shredder for questioning corrupt police chief Sterns. She is saved by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and brought down to their sewer hiding place. It's Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michaelangelo with their master Splinter. Fifteen years earlier, Splinter was Ninja Master Yoshi's pet rat who finds himself in the sewer with the four baby turtles. They got transformed by a spilled batch of radioactive ooze.

The turtles are fun but not individual enough. Part of that are the costumes which limit acting movements and keep them looking too similar. On the other hand, Splinter has more character work and his story is more compelling. There are limitations to the action but it's still plenty of fun. The human characters are functional and there are some surprise recognizable faces. This is a fun kids movie.
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An Understated Masterpiece of Sorts
gavin694211 November 2013
A quartet of mutated humanoid turtles clash with an uprising criminal gang of ninjas.

First of all, it is worth noting that the late editor Sally Menke (1953-2010) worked on this film before going on to make some of Quentin Tarantino's best work. When watching Tarantino, it is hard to imagine that the same hand was responsible for the Turtles, and yet this is the case.

Growing up in the 1980s, the two big influences on my childhood were the Turtles and He-Man. Both received feature films. The Turtles received this -- a clever, dark and yet humorous story along with a worthy sequel. He-Man had some bizarre alternate dimension story. (Let us not even talk about Super Mario Brothers.) Not only is this film great, but it is even better when you realize how horribly wrong it could have gone.

Further, for me, this was a defining role for Elias Koteas. He has been in many big films, but this was his breakout role and still the role I picture him in despite the added decades and receding hairline...
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