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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)



Average Rating: 3.9/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 23

It's a case of one sequel too many for the heroes in a half shell, with a tired time-travel plot gimmick failing to save the franchise from rapidly diminishing returns.


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 5

It's a case of one sequel too many for the heroes in a half shell, with a tired time-travel plot gimmick failing to save the franchise from rapidly diminishing returns.



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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 91,372

My Rating

Movie Info

This third film in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series finds the half-shelled ninjas traveling back in time to 17th-century Japan in order to save April O'Neil (Paige Turco). Once there, they also use their skills to help a rebel army battle an evil leader. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

Sep 3, 2002


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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (23) | DVD (6)

Less amateurish than the 1990 original, less embarrassing than the 1991 sequel (with its mind-boggling Vanilla Ice ninja-rap number), this may be the easiest installment in the series for parents to sit through.

August 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The oversized terrapins are characteristically flip as they backflip through an unnecessarily muddled plot.

August 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A decided case of diminishing returns.

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The wisecracks have been cut back, and where once the Ninjas' dude-speak was original (influencing, for example, Wayne's World) it's now merely imitative.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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The Turtles themselves are better-natured than ever, and even nicely mellowed.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the first sequel was a photocopy of the original, this second sequel is a tracing of a photocopy. It's the same business twice removed, and twice diminished.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rinky-dink production values, and sheer mindlessness and creative bankruptcy.

August 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Really stupid.

August 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Writer/director Stuart Gillard tries to inject some life into the project by including some tongue-in-cheek scenes in 17th-century Japan, but it quickly degenerates into half-hearted cartoonish action.

August 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

These fighting-intensive movies, a glorification of hurtful action, are strictly for children. While the corpse count is low, the mimicking turtles stand for nothing more important than the employment of physical force.

August 6, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The comic book and animated incarnations of the Turtles remain far funnier and more inventive.

August 6, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series comes to a close with an installment that ultimately falls right in line with its subpar predecessors...

May 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

This third film is easily the weakest of the bunch, but I can't say it's terrible.

September 21, 2010 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

If the time-travel gimmick has to be employed twice in a row then it's probably best to banish these characters to a retirement sewer.

May 18, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Terrible conclusion of the trilogy. The first two were great comic/cartoon adaptations. But back in time? What the hell is that about?

July 14, 2003

The novelty was refreshingly spry and creative in its first go-around. But guess what--the butt-kicking shellshockers are running out of excuses to exist in their campy chaos

May 28, 2003

Two weren't enough???

January 22, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Achieves a degree of grace, goofiness, and agreeability that can often be lost in the serious drudgery of everyday life.

October 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

The novelty is starting to wear off by this second sequel

September 19, 2002

Look at it this way; it could be worse. Your kids could be hooked on Barney.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

The third film of this trilogy plummets to an all new low. With worse humour and no explanation for returning characters, the set-up for the film is terrible before the story even kicks in. After April O'Neil is accidentally transported back to 1603, the Turtles must travel through time in order to fight Ninja Warrior's and Samurai to save her. The plot is hilarious in itself already, but when you add it to an Ninja Turtles film, it shits on the source material in every way and makes the first two films look worse for no reason. There was no true reason that this film had to be made. Besides the costumes of the turtles and few nice fight moves, the film falls flat on it's face in script, acting, and jokes. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3" is a pile of crap that deserves to stay down in the sewers.
August 7, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Stuard Gillard takes the turtles to ancient Japan in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.Seemingly one of the most ideal situations for the turtles to showcase their martial arts skills, ends up a 90 minute less than stellar production. The time travel concept is a nice twist, but is never fully delved into. The rest of the story is mildly amusing.The martial arts choreography lacks, although Donatello seems to end up with a lot of the good stuff. As for the animatronics, it is a step back. The costumes are too generic and the mouth movements disappoint when it comes to word matching.The voices of the turtles are acceptable. Paige Turco tends to get lost in the shuffle. Elias Koteas proves himself as 2 characters, even though the one that matters is highly under utilized. Vivian Wu is a beauty on screen.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III has a bunch of letdowns, but manages to still be a watchable flick. Cowabunga dudes!
July 25, 2014
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

The long awaited third sequel...well sorta, after the surprisingly popular half decent first film and the fun arcade fighter-like sequel, the third film limped along. Obviously trying for a fresh look and idea the Turtles find themselves being zapped back in time to feudal Japan mainly to capitalize on their martial arts background. The film was also kinda known as 'Turtles in Time' which was the title of the second scrolling beat 'em up for the SNES fighter back in 92.

To be honest I can see why they would make this move story wise, the Turtles do have that Eastern mythology to them so naturally they would fit well in the land of the rising sun. Its basically all about swapping places in time, the Turtles must travel back in time and exchange places with some elite warriors to save 'April' who accidentally got swapped with a Prince whose father is a Shogun (I think). So what we end up having is a nice lighthearted out of time culture shock routine for both the Turtles in ancient Japan and the Prince and his warriors in present day New York.

So what can you expect? well its pretty clear really, there are lots of hokey, silly, childish fight sequences where the four heroes battle Japanese warriors of various kinds. Lots of visual cartoonish humour, prat falls, rude jokes and talk of pizza. On the flip side back in New York we see the out of time strangers coming to grips with TV, pizza, modern music, night clubs, bars, drink etc...its all very cliched, very cheesy, very hammy and massively predictable but its suppose to be.

The visuals still look nice if you ask me, nothing special, feudal Japan is realised well with lots of hilly rocky green terrain and a nice fortress set. All the extras look fine in their traditional outfits accompanied by traditional weaponry, they all speak Japanese (no subs) and they all take their roles seriously enough to make the ride enjoyable. Sab Shimono as 'Lord Norinaga' looks great in his role and gives a decent performance, easily the best, he actually gives the whole thing a much needed boost of realism. The Turtles don't quite look as good as the previous two films, Henson's boys aren't behind the magic this time and you can tell but its still OK (they look quite good in their samurai armour). Splinter still looks the same which is good and its nice to see Koteas back as 'Casey Jones' albeit in a minor background role.

Not as good as the first two films but I still enjoyed this to a degree. Its meant for kids in every way and is in no way suppose to be anything remotely serious of course. Its still heavily based around the cartoon series which isn't a bad thing but I just feel had they used 'Shredder' 'Krang' 'Bebop' and 'Rocksteady' as the villains, still using the feudal Japan setting, we could have had a much better film.

The whole trilogy really missed Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady, all three films are a nice adaptation of the cartoon series and don't disappoint in all honesty. Sure they get more childish one by one but they still work both visually and simply for fun. For what they are, the approach and style of the franchise, they are perfect, perfect pop culture of the early 90's.
August 12, 2013

Super Reviewer

You could tell they had run out of steam in the series by the third installment as this seems more like a straight to video attempt.
While it's interesting that they brought time travel into the mix we lose the chance to have Casey Jones and Master Splinter do their thing with the Turtles. They are made into side characters without much to do in the movie and this is a weakness.
Also the drama of the situation seems a little forced and in the end quickly forgotten when they get back from the past.
In the end it's an ok movie for the younger crowd of Turtle fans but the die hard folks are going to pass.
July 3, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Michaelangelo: My neck hurts, my spots hurt, even my bandana hurts.
    – Submitted by Joe N (16 months ago)
    1. Donatello: Help, I'm a Turtle and I can't get up.
    – Submitted by Joe N (16 months ago)
    1. Donatello: You were expecting maybe, uh, The Addams Family?
    – Submitted by Matt S (16 months ago)
    1. Michaelangelo: I'm spelunking for pork rines.
    – Submitted by Christopher P (2 years ago)
    1. Donatello: OH NO NOT ANOTHER SEWER. [jumps in]
    2. Raphael: I'LL BE BACK. [jumps in] [sounded like he was voiced by Arnold Schwarzenegger just then]
    – Submitted by Joe N (2 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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