Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Action sequel funnier than the first but still only OK.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 112 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 23 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The Turtles don't always agree, but they continue to learn the value of teamwork and how different opinions, perspectives, and talents strengthen a team's ability to succeed. They also teach the importance of collaborating with allies like April and Casey. Themes of brotherhood and of fighting together to protect others -- even those who will never know you're helping them -- are important to the story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Master Splinter is a father figure to the four Turtles, and he helps them grow as adolescents. The Turtles are occasionally immature and impetuous, but they also want to be brave and selfless and defend the city against evil sources. April and Casey are good friends to the Turtles and also act bravely to defeat Shredder and protect New Yorkers (and all people of Earth), though April is also somewhat objectified (like when she wears a "sexy schoolgirl" outfit).


Plenty of violence, but much of it is from afar. It also doesn't show the inevitable deaths and injuries it causes -- like during a big chase sequence when police cars are blown up, flip over, and crash, or people fall off of motorcycles or moving vehicles, presumably to severe injuries or deaths -- which, while limiting gore, also minimizes the consequences/impact of the disasters. People are incapacitated, and the Turtles face a supervillain with super powers and extraterrestrial weapons.


Quite a bit of innuendo, although a little less than in the first film. April is ogled early on, especially when she changes into a midriff-baring top, a short plaid mini-skirt, and thigh-high tights to collect sensitive information from someone. In one scene, two men changed into humanoid animals check out their packages and high-five each other approvingly.


One "s--t," plus "damn," "hell," "jackass," "idiot," "stupid," "shut up." Also jokes about farts, boogers, etc.


Featured brands include iPhone, Orange Crush, Dunkin' Donuts, and the Knicks. There's also a huge Nickelodeon merchandise campaign in place to tie in the Turtles with toys, video games, home decor, apparel, books, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults hold drinks at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows -- the sequel to 2014's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- finds the titular foursome back in action with their friend April to defeat the nefarious plans of Shredder, his Foot Clan, and a new supervillain. There's about as much explosive action violence (crashes, martial arts battles, and other hand-to-hand combat) as there was in the first movie. The language is amped up a little, with uses of "s--t" and "damn" as well as insults like "jackass," as is the bodily function humor (expect fart and booger gags). And while there a few suggestive jokes (in one scene, two men changed into humanoid animals check out their packages and high-five each other approvingly) and a sequence in which April wears a stereotypical "sexy schoolgirl" outfit, there's actually less innuendo here than in the original. Messages about teamwork and brotherhood are again present, and the Turtles work hard to defend the city.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydjblue3 June 16, 2018

A good installment, but could have done better

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is better than the first one. The violence level is medium with destruction, sword fights, explosions and the partial creepy “Kra... Continue reading
Adult Written byrebma97 November 14, 2016

Not great, but better than the first

Like CSM said, this film was okay, but it was definitely an improvement on the first one. Out of the Shadows focuses more on the turtles' character develop... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 29, 2020
Teen, 17 years old Written byScream ghost faces August 31, 2018

What's the story?

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS continues the story of brothers Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson), who are still living in the sewers in the aftermath of Shredder's (Tohoru Masamune) imprisonment. The turtles allowed Vern (Will Arnett) to take all the credit for bringing Shredder down, so he's got a key to the city and is enjoying his local fame. But when Shredder and two other criminals are transported to a maximum-security prison, the Foot Clan intervenes, rescuing their nefarious leader with the help of genius physicist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), who teleports Shredder away. Shredder ends up meeting the humorously gruesome-looking supervillain Krang, who tasks Shredder with finding parts of a supermachine that would allow Krang and Shredder to rule the world. Meanwhile, corrections officer Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) teams up with April (Megan Fox) and the Turtles to help locate and defeat Shredder and his goons.

Is it any good?

Slightly better than the original but not enough so to really justify a full-blown franchise, at least this sequel is a small step in the right direction. Some of the distracting innuendo from the first film is gone, but there's still plenty of juvenile humor and an early focus on Fox's seductive figure (although at least that mostly ends after one sequence). Due to the addition of Shredder's cronies Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) -- two dim-witted criminals who are turned into a humanoid warthog and rhinoceros -- there are fart, booger, and even penis jokes this time around, all to please audiences young and old who find that sort of scatological humor worth a laugh.

Arrow star Amell is another addition to the cast -- and in his case, a quite welcome one (and not just because he's such a heartthrob). He does a decent job portraying Jones, the athlete vigilante who uses hockey sticks and other sports equipment to gain leverage in battles against bigger and seemingly deadlier rivals. And, of course, he makes a potential love interest for April, although clearly the filmmakers are saving that development for the inevitable third installment in the franchise. If your family has Turtle fever, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is at least a bit better than the last one, but some purists will probably prefer to just watch the original TV show instead.

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