Metascore
31

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 33
  2. Negative: 15 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    Aug 7, 2014
    63
    [A] basically brainless but intermittently adrenalizing, mostly-just-for-kids reboot.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Anderson
    Aug 7, 2014
    58
    Turtles is head-and-shell better than "Transformers." Cowabunga?
  3. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Aug 6, 2014
    58
    What the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lacks is not fidelity, but a spirit of genuine boyish fun.
  4. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Aug 3, 2014
    58
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is about as predictable as movies get these days.
  5. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Aug 13, 2014
    50
    A consistently workmanlike helmer, Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Battle: Los Angeles) keeps the pace brisk and the overall tone closer to that of the recent G.I. Joe vehicles, infusing this glorified toy commercial with an almost aggressively knowing sense of humor and exactly one fun action sequence on New York’s most conveniently located mountaintop.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 8, 2014
    50
    A dark, shaky, standard-issue superhero picture.
  7. Reviewed by: Sandie Angulo Chen
    Aug 7, 2014
    50
    While this reboot is fun, it’s also forgettable and occasionally infuriating.
  8. 50
    The action beats are bigger and better than they’ve ever been in a Ninja Turtle film — brawls, shootouts, a snowy car-and-truck chase with big explosions and what not. But in between those scenes is an awful lot of chatter and exposition. For a film that aims younger (save for the die-hards who grew up with this franchise), that’s deadly dull.
  9. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Aug 4, 2014
    50
    The castmembers portraying Splinter and the turtles achieve a persuasive level of realism that was never possible with the elaborate puppetry required for the original film series and adequately fulfill expectations for their characters.
  10. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Aug 5, 2014
    42
    It can't be overstated what kind of a marvel these Turtles are onscreen, however. As crude and unpleasant their design might be, they feel like living, breathing things, not special effects.
  11. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Oct 13, 2014
    40
    Heroes in a half-arsed shell.
  12. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 13, 2014
    40
    This extremely stupid movie, with its recycled Batman/Spider-Man-style plot involving a dead father, an evil scientist-tycoon (played by the reliably terrific William Fichtner) and a massive criminal underworld of masked thugs, also features the best action sequence of the summer, bar none. I’m not kidding!
  13. 40
    Largely indistinguishable from any number of bloated superhero spectacles that have already graced our screens. Your kids may not mind it, but it’s more insistent than it is fun.
  14. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Aug 7, 2014
    40
    A certain kind of discipline and experience is at work here: It’s no accident that the action and dialogue seem blandly cartoonish, as if the moviemakers wanted to keep everything easy for all ages to follow.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Aug 7, 2014
    40
    Not out-and-out terrible enough to be completely dismissed, while also not particularly memorable either, perhaps the truest summation of the film is to say simply that the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a movie that exists.
  16. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 7, 2014
    40
    It's just kind of a mess, as unfocused and immature as the four mutant turtles at its core. Stuff happens, stuff blows up and this is probably a good time to mention that Michael Bay produced the film.
  17. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 5, 2014
    40
    Utterly inessential, this slightly cheap-looking reboot of the Turtles franchise is froth too — it might even be too tame for the kids who make up the target audience.
  18. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Aug 4, 2014
    40
    Neither a particularly good movie nor the pop-cultural travesty that some were dreading.
  19. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 8, 2014
    38
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn't so much provide brainless enjoyment as it pummels the viewer into submission. "Shell-shocked" is a reasonable description of the experience.
  20. Reviewed by: Cliff Lee
    Aug 8, 2014
    38
    If TMNT the franchise is going to reach the same lofty heights of blockbuster-dom, it still needs to find its own inner hero.
  21. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Aug 8, 2014
    38
    If nothing else, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reminds us that nostalgia is often used as a mandate for spectacularly lazy filmmaking.
  22. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Aug 7, 2014
    38
    The repartee, as ever, is weak. Even with all the extra layers of digital detail, it’s still tough to keep these four straight. And the CG characters’ slimy rendering and motion-capture expressiveness could go down with “The Polar Express” as a study in inadvertent, technologically misguided screen creepiness. Wackier would have been OK, guys — it’s the Ninja Turtles.
  23. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 7, 2014
    38
    Is there a word that means the opposite of Cowabunga? If so, that's the word for the charmless, dull and derivative new take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  24. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Aug 8, 2014
    30
    This TMNT is bigger and emptier, a wasteland of pixels.
  25. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Aug 6, 2014
    30
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t a movie; it’s a brand re-launch that’s going to satisfy stockholders far more than it’s going to entertain the people who paid to watch it.
  26. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    Aug 4, 2014
    30
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a movie that takes its characters and its premise seriously, until it doesn't, and that operates at two speeds: tortoise (ponderous) and hare (head-spinning).
  27. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 7, 2014
    25
    They’ve been around so long that they’re now the Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles, and their ’80s vibe — cowabunga, dude! — is so strong that I kept expecting a cameo by Huey Lewis or Max Headroom.
  28. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Aug 7, 2014
    25
    The narrative is a mess, and the overly long action sequences are easily forgotten.
  29. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Aug 7, 2014
    25
    A film so overworked to ensure mass-market appeal that it loses the charming oddness and loose goofiness that has allowed these characters to endure.
  30. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Sep 9, 2014
    20
    Young kids will find the second, more action-heavy half of the film entertaining, but everyone else will want to crawl into their shell.
  31. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Aug 6, 2014
    20
    TMNT confuses “dimly lit” for “gritty” and humorless for substantive. It’s afraid of being too fun or too light, and doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to be a Nolan film or a 21 Jump Street-style spoof.
  32. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 4, 2014
    0
    Teenagers, even non-ninjas and non-turtles, have been eating up this cinematic waste product for weeks now. In one way, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a triumph for producer Michael Bay in that it is equally as godawful as his "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and a hit nonetheless.
  33. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 7, 2014
    0
    The cloddish, confusing action scenes make no sense. Young viewers’ eyes will glaze from the first-person video-game style. Nonaction scenes feature people sniping at each other, or, in Arnett’s case, croaking out the script’s half-assed witticisms, until the Turtles show up.
User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 392 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 146
  2. Negative: 50 out of 146
  1. Aug 8, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Ultimately it’s just kind of… there. It’s bland. Most of the things that make the TMNT franchise feel special have been sanded off to make a very generic modern superhero movie, but one that does almost everything worse than the rest do. There’s a brief action scene that’s sort of like a key early sequence in Batman Begins, just… worse. The origin backstory for the Turtles and Splinter and the entire climax scene are photocopies of The Amazing Spider-Man, just… worse. They add nothing to what came before. None of it’s memorable. It’s just there.
    If I can give some praise, I’ll give it to Noel Fisher. He’s a good Michelangelo. The few times I found myself smiling, it was because of his performance. Easily the high point.
    The script is awful. Nothing makes a bit of sense. Eric Sacks’ evil master plan is to pump the city full of deadly gas and use the curative properties of the mutagen (a shoehorned-in aspect of the IDW comic series that’s just kinda… there, overcomplicating things for no specific reason) to play the “saviour” and cure everyone, and also receive a big government payday. He’s doing it to get rich, even though he’s clearly already crazy rich, with a palatial mountain estate and his own corporate tower in Manhattan. He has no additional motivation. And his actual plan is laughably stupid - he has the Shredder pump the bright red poison gas out from the top of his tower in the city… which would be immediately noticed by absolutely everyone and reveal that he was behind it all along. How does this plan end with anything but him in a prison cell?
    The Shredder himself? He doesn’t need to be in this movie. He serves no purpose. He’s just there to fight Splinter and the Turtles, nothing more. He has no motivation and no character. And even then, he’s almost comically bad at being the big bad villain - he just leaves characters “for dead” twice, who of course turn out to be alive, for no good reason at all. Just, welp, I’m leaving now because whatever. Just to give the movie some cheap drama.
    This movie doesn’t really have much of a plot to speak of. I think it might have more plot holes than actual plot. Plot holes you could drive a Turtle Van through. (Hey, how’s that for a DVD pull quote?)
    It also doesn’t have any real characters; they’re all pretty broad, basic archetypes at best. There’s no real character development or “arc” for anyone. They try to shoehorn one in for Raphael at the end, but the only setup is a very brief scene early on where he threatens to abandon his family. Not much more comes of it, and his big “emotional breakthrough” falls totally flat. They’re trying to have a big character moment without doing the work to set it up.
    In fact, there are a number of attempts at “serious”/emotional scenes that were completely laughable. There was nothing to sell them. They weren’t earned and fell flat. The movie does almost nothing to make you care about these characters - it’s assuming you already do, and that makes it fail on the most basic story level.
    The mo-cap technology used is impressive on a technical level, but the directing make it impossible to believe they’re “real”. Part of that is because all of the shots with no humans in them (and there are a bunch) are in full CGI, and there’s no “real camera” to speak of. The way the digital camera zooms in and flies around looks incredibly fake and downright physically impossible, which makes all of those scenes feel like a cartoon or a video game. It doesn’t match up with the “real” footage at all, so it’s a really jarring, distracting fit that highlights how unreal the Turtles are. In a movie like this, it was the worst possible choice they could have made.
    The action sequences are obnoxious. In fact, the entire movie seems to be directed by a 12-year-old with ADHD. The camera is constantly swooping in and out and tilting into dutch angles and spinning around and shaking with no rhyme or reason. There’s a scene where some random schlub answering a phone gets a dramatic camera swoop. It’s insane. There are no real storytelling skills on display here; it’s just trying to be as busy as possible so you won’t notice. At times it’s downright incomprehensible.
    There’s really not that much more to say about it. It’s a bad movie. It’s pretty forgettable. You can barely even call it a movie, or a story, at all. It’s a bunch of mediocre video-game cut scenes sloppily cut together as a movie. But worst of all, it doesn’t do anything to stand out from the most generic superhero-style action movies out there. And for a TMNT movie, that’s probably the worst thing that can be said about it.
    And that’s the thing… none of my main criticisms have anything to do with the changes to the Turtles’ designs, or the changes to the backstory, or Megan Fox, or any of the other reasons that have set the fanbase on edge. It’s all to do with this being a poorly-written, poorly-made movie on its own merits. There’s nothing worthwhile about it.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 8, 2014
    0
    This is a complete bastardization of a beloved childhood franchise, in fact it's Transformers 5, but instead of robots you have turtles. IfThis is a complete bastardization of a beloved childhood franchise, in fact it's Transformers 5, but instead of robots you have turtles. If you must go to a movie, see Guardians of the Galaxy instead.

    If you want to see new TMNT, tune into Nickelodeon for the new cartoon. Where this movie is bland and an obvious cash grab, the new cartoon is charming with awesome nods to the series from the 80's and 90's. The only way we can stop the destruction of the things we loved from childhood is to stop funneling money into projects like this by seeing them.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 8, 2014
    0
    Megan Fox is the protagonist of the TMNT movie while the turtles are mere supporting characters just like in Transformers. This was horrible.Megan Fox is the protagonist of the TMNT movie while the turtles are mere supporting characters just like in Transformers. This was horrible. I expected the movie to be bad but not this bad. 0/10, I want my money back.

    If you haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet then go and watch it now, it's a great film and not a waste of precious time and money like this TMNT abomination.
    Full Review »