TMNT: All 8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies ranked from worst to best

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 23: Employees of the Madrid Amusement Park dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pose for a photo on June 23, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. Parque de Atracciones de Madrid welcomed visitors back after Spain lifted its state of emergency. Spain has reopened its borders to visitors from most of Europe after three months of lock down to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 23: Employees of the Madrid Amusement Park dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pose for a photo on June 23, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. Parque de Atracciones de Madrid welcomed visitors back after Spain lifted its state of emergency. Spain has reopened its borders to visitors from most of Europe after three months of lock down to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images) /
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3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Ah yes, the classic that many consider the best live action film of the bunch, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is considered by many to be the best TMNT film ever made. And that is okay, since this film was a major reason the Turtles have had six big screen adventures in the past thirty years.

The major criticism of this film, however, was clearly marketed towards children and yet it was too violent to be a kids film. Some parents were very distressed with the amount of violence, which resulted in the Turtles being unable to use their weapons in Secret of the Ooze. As Entertainment Weekly put it:

"“The National Coalition on Television Violence claims there are more than 190 acts of violence in this movie; it seemed to me there were at least that many in the opening scene.”"

As EW highlights, much of the violence in the film does override the storytelling elements. However, this is still the best live action portrayal of the TMNT we have seen. The blend of the silliness of the ’80s animated series and the dark tones of the Mirage comics and the callbacks to classic storylines (the farmhouse, Splinter going missing etc.) are all intriguing elements of the film.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the definitive portrayals of the Ninja Turtles, with great characterisation for the Turtles, especially Raphael, and while the film is not perfect, it is a classic that continues to be viewed fondly by many.

Hopefully we get some form of continuation from the original trilogy in the future that is more in-line with the tone of this film rather than the sequels that followed it.