Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Let’s get this out of the way right now, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 10/10 movie. I am a massive TMNT fan and have been since the 80s. Ninja Turtles are one of those things that I have never grown out of and to this day I feel that the 1990 live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is one of the greatest comic book/superhero movies ever made.

How to Download Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released on March 30, 1990. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Also, be sure to read our reviews of the newer films about the green superheroes: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023).

The Movie Review

To start with, they did not try and replicate the cartoon that was super popular at the time. Instead, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on the early issues of the comic book which gives it a darker more gritty tone in comparison to the cartoon. Granted, it is still a ways off from how brutal and violent the early issues of the comic book were, but it is still closer to that than the animated series.

What we have here is about as classic as you can get from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story. The four brothers are living in the sewers of New York and after saving April O’Neal, they end up thrust into a battle with Shredder and his Foot Clan. Out of the Turtles, Raphael certainly takes center stage as he gets some major screen time with Casey Jones as well which is awesome. Elias Costas nails the role of Casey Jones and to this day, he is some of the best casting in any comic book movie.

Real Action and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop

The action in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is amazing. You have to remember that everything you are seeing is actually in front of the camera! Those amazing Jim Henson Creature Shop costumes still look amazing to this day. It is insane that there is actually a dude inside those suits pulling off those moves. Sure the Michael Bay Turtles are able to do flashier and more athletic and spectacular things thanks to being CGI, but there is just something so raw and real about these Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (1990)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) is a live-action adaptation that brings the darker, grittier comic book Turtles to life. Download it now.

They manage to capture the Turtle’s personalities really well. I love it when we get a bit of back and forth between the brothers and it all feels very authentic no matter if they are cracking jokes or butting heads. There are some great fight scenes here and the level of violence at the time the movie was released was a pretty hot topic with some parents complaining. This would actually be something that greatly impacted the sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze the following year.

A Movie for All Ages

I really do not feel that this movie gets the credit it deserves. This could have been cheesy as hell, but it is not. Yes, the kids who loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles loved this, but it was also fun for many of the parents who went with them. They truly captured what the heart of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is all about and I have watched this many times over the years and it simply never gets old.

This is one of those movies where I am always checking to see if there is any news of a 4K release. Neca released a series of action figures based on this and the sequel and they are fantastic! I would love to see them do something special with a 4K release, but as 2024 is the 40th anniversary of the Ninja Turtles and still nothing has been announced I am not holding my breath. If you have never seen this or even if you have not seen it in a very long time, I highly recommend that you give this a watch as it is totally tubular dude!

10 Total Score
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • I love how raw, real, and gritty this movie is
  • Those Turtle suits still look amazing
  • The fight and action scenes are so much fun
  • This is a movie that has aged incredibly well
  • This desperately needs a 4K release
  • Some of the parent outcry for this movie did impact the sequel
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)
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Jason Delacey

Jason Delacey

Jason is a 40-year-old writer from Northern England. He has been playing video games his whole life and writing about them for over a decade. As well as enjoying gaming into the wee hours of the morning, Jason is a real film fanatic too! He is open to watching all genres of movies from animated singing animals to brutal horror!

Jason loves to give his honest opinion on games, movies, TV shows and is always willing to give anything a try!

Favorite Games: Resident Evil 4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, Bioshock Infinite, Super Mario World, The Last of Us, Halo 2, Streets of Rage 2, Overwatch.

Favorite Movies: Terminator 2, The Empire Strikes Back, Avengers Infinity War, Bloodsport, The Transformers The Movie. Dogma, BASEketball, From Dusk Till Dawn

Favorite TV Shows: X-Files, Supernatural, Lost, American Horror Story, The Mandalorian, Stranger Things.