Best 6 ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Movies To Add To Your Watchlist

It’s always great to be lean, green and mean! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have returned to the big screen with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, treating fans to a spectacular nostalgic ride that involves thrilling action, wonderful animation, and lots of hilarity.

In celebration of the upcoming movie, here are 6 best TMNT movies to watch. These heroes in a half shell have left an indelible mark on generations of fans since 1984, so get ready to embark on a shell-shocking journey through the sewers of cinematic excellence with our list of the best TMNT movies that deserve a prime spot on your watchlist.

1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

The OG live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from 1990 is truly a nostalgic trip down memory lane, marking their first appearance on the big screen. This gritty film adapted the comic books surprisingly well, and introduced audiences to the Turtles’ pizza-fueled camaraderie and their battle against the dastardly Shredder. With its advanced puppetry and goofy jokes, this film offers a dose of ‘90s charm that’s as delightful as a cheesy slice of New York pizza.

2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

Directly following in the heels of the first film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze throws our heroes back into action as they face off against the nefarious Shredder and a pair of gnarly mutants, Rahzar and Tokka.

Unlike its predecessor, this film embraces a more playful tone that makes it perfect for audiences of all ages. Amidst the ‘90s flair and crazy mutant shenanigans, The Secret of the Ooze even serves up a sprinkle of Vanilla Ice musical magic, promising an enjoyable time for those who can appreciate some cheesy fun.

3) TMNT (2007)

After a whopping 14-year hiatus from the big screen, TMNT shook things up in a number of ways. This animated gem fully embraced the world of CGI animation, a departure that remained unique to this film until Mutant Mayhem.

In addition, it explores a fractured group of Turtles and a world without their familiar teamwork. The Turtles, nursing their bruised egos from tangling with Shredder, find themselves on separate paths, giving audiences a glimpse into what it would be like for them to live independent lives. For example, Donatello has taken up an IT job, while Michaelangelo embraces a more whimsical gig as a birthday party entertainer.

The darker tone combined with a tale of rediscovery and redemption adds a layer of emotional depth to our heroes’ journey.

4) Turtles Forever (2009)

As a tribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles legacy, Turtles Forever is the ultimate love letter for fans of the franchise. Multiverses may be all the rage these days, but over a decade ago, this 2009 film crafted an interdimensional crossover that brought together the iconic Turtles from the 1987 animated series, the action-packed 2003 revival, and the edgy Mirage comics iterations.

This isn’t just a crossover for the sake of it; it’s a narrative that plunges headfirst into the heart of what makes each Turtle generation unique while celebrating their collective ethos. The interactions between our beloved heroes in a half shell are nothing short of a geek’s dream. 

The action-packed sequences that pit our heroes against foes from their own universes and beyond are dazzling, flawlessly capturing the essence of each Turtles generation. Meanwhile, the story is full of thrills, amusement, and heartwarming moments.

5) Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

Speaking of crossovers, this film sees two iconic universes clash as the ninja trained Turtles join forces with ultimate ninja, Batman, to take on a rogues’ gallery that spans both worlds. Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has ample brutality (deservedly earning its PG-13 rating) alongside witty banter and slick animation, making it a must-see for fans of both franchises. To further solidify the film’s appeal, it boasts an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an IMDb rating of 7.1.

6) Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (2022)

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie is the film continuation of the 2018 TV series of the same name, taking the beloved franchise to thrilling new heights while preserving its timeless appeal. The story plays out like an adrenaline-fueled rollercoaster, each twist and turn demonstrating a high level of playful creativity.

Underneath the masks and martial arts, the heart of Rise beats to the rhythm of strong family dynamics that have been the cornerstone of TMNT’s legacy. Witnessing the Turtles evolve and mature is a delightful experience that serves as both a thrilling entry point for fans and a testament to the franchise’s boundless potential.