Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the shadows

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Not recommended under 13; parental guidance 13 to 15, due to frequent violence and scary scenes and characters

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the shadows
  • a review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the shadows completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 June 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to frequent violence and scary scenes and characters
Children 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to frequent violence and scary scenes.
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the shadows
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy violence
Length: 112 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This film follows on from the 2014 TMNT film in which the evil villain Shredder was imprisoned after being defeated by the Turtles. In the new film we find the Turtles, Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Leonardo (Peter Plaszek), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) still hiding out in the shadows of the city’s underground sewer system. The Turtles stay out of sight by day while doing their vigilante work by night, as well as keeping their friend April O’Neil (Megan Fox) out of harm’s way.

Although Shredder ( Brian Tee) is still in prison, April has discovered that a scientist by the name of Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) has been secretly working for Shredder. Stockman  plans  to break Shredder out of prison while he is being transferred to a new prison. April tells the Turtles about Shredder’s plans but, even with the help of newcomer Casey Jones (Stephen Anell), they are unable to stop Shredder when he uses a teleportation device to make his escape.

The teleportation device does not work exactly as planned and Shredder is transported to another dimension where an alien super-villain named Krang (voice of Brad Garrett) convinces Shredder to assemble a teleportation device on Earth so that Krang can bring through an alien weapon that will allow Krang and Shredder to rule the world.

It is up to the Turtles, April and Casey Jones to stop Krang from building his doomsday machine and destroying the planet.       


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Superheroes; mutants; alternate realities; weapons of mass destruction

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains action violence throughout.  There are many scenes of stylised fighting with punches and kicks to the head, chest and body and the film shows very few realistic consequences of the violence - no death, injury, blood and gore are depicted.  Examples include:

  • One scene depicts a chained prisoner walking towards a dozen policemen holding automatic rifles. 
  • A gang of evil ninjas on motorbikes and in cars chase a prison van surrounded by several police cars. Explosives attached to the van are detonated, resulting in loud explosions with police cars flying out of control and crashing into each other. The ninjas use a blow torch to cut through the roof of the prison van. The Turtles arrive, driving a hotted up rubbish truck with flames shooting out of the exhausts. Manhole covers are fired from the rubbish truck at the ninjas and two large robotic arms attached to the side of the rubbish truck are used as battering rams, knocking ninjas from their bikes.  A bomb explodes underneath the rubbish truck, causing fire and smoke but little damage. One of the Turtles jumps from the rubbish truck, somersaults along the road and jumps onto the front of a speeding ninja’s bike, head-butting the rider and knocking him from his bike. Eventually the evil ninjas stop the prison van, overpower the driver and stomp on the head of the guard. Throughout the entire episode no death, injury or blood and gore are depicted.   
  • An alien creature in the form of a head covered in tentacles is attached to the stomach of a giant robot. It uses its tentacles to strike a man in the head, leaving him covered in slime.
  • A man throws glasses at mirrors and bottles in a bar, causing damage and destruction until the bar owner agrees to tell him what he wants to know. 
  • An off duty police officer, after seeing a woman surrounded by a gang of evil ninjas, takes a hockey stick from the boot of his car and dons a hockey mask. He hits the ninjas with his stick and fires pucks at their heads, as well as punching and kicking them. The ninjas throw star weapons at their masked attacker with one star imbedding itself into the man’s hockey mask. No death, injury or blood and gore are depicted.         
  • Ninjas attack a police station, punching and kicking police officers in the face and body. Sonic grenades incapacitate police officers who cover their ears as they groan in pain. The Turtles crash through the ceiling of the police station and attack the ninjas. Police officers then surround and point their weapons at the Turtles.          
  • There is mass destruction when a teleportation machine opens a portal to another dimension and giant sized pieces of a super war machine come floating through. The giant pieces of machinery fly through the city crashing into the sides of skyscrapers, causing large sections of the buildings to come crashing down into city streets and on to cars. Mass pileups are created and there is general mayhem and hysteria.
  • One of the film’s more intense and violent scenes involves the Turtles fighting a large robot. The Turtles jump onto the robot, and when the robot extends its arm which has a large cutting weapon attached, one of the Turtles uses a sword to cut off the robots hand. A large cannon extends out of the robot’s chest and fires a beam of energy at the turtles. The robot is speared through the back of its head, short circuits and is sucked into a dimensional vortex and disappears.
  • In one scene a mutant warthog and rhino are trapped inside a shipping container into which a grenade is thrown. There is a loud explosion and the sides of the container expanding. The mutants are uninjured.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight, including the following:

  • A Halloween parade with giant sized skeleton puppets and people wearing various Halloween related costumes.
  • Several scenes depict an alien super-villain who appears as a slimy pink brain with a face attached to the front. The face has a mouth full of small sharp pointy teeth with pink slime dripping from its mouth while the head is covered with an array of slimy pink tentacles that act as the creature’s arms and hands. The alien head is attached to the stomach of a giant robot.      
  • A man shoots a dart containing a mutagen into the necks of two men. The men begin to immediately transform, taking on animal-like characteristics. The two men appear to enjoy the transformation but young children may find it scary. In a later scene we see the two eating worms from a barrel like animals.
  • A couple of scenes depict devices that emit electrical charges like lightning.
  • A portal opening from another dimension resembles a mass of dark swirling storm clouds and we hear the sound of thunder crashing.   
  • We see a leading villain is frozen solid, encased in shards of ice.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this group are also likely to be scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • I Phones, tablets, some soft drinks.

There is also plenty of associated merchandise being marketed to young children.

Sexual references

The film contains occasional low-level sexual innuendo. Examples include:

  • After flirting with a man a woman says that she has a boyfriend and she walks away. The man says “You have a boyfriend? Of course you do”.  
  • A man and woman flirt mildly, the man asking the woman out on a date.
  • A Turtle asks a man and a woman “Are you two a thing?”  
  • After their transformation into mutants, the rhino and warthog look at their groin areas and high-five each other

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A mutant warthog proudly displays his large clothed buttocks in front of the camera.
  • April dresses in a “sexy schoolgirl” outfit including a tiny mini skirt, a bare midriff, some cleavage, long black stockings and high heel shoes. She walks up to a man and starts to flirt with him, rubbing her hands over his shoulders
  • Women wear tight fitting and revealing clothes

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Drinking in restaurants and bars, and at a cocktail party.
  • A man shoots darts containing a mutagen into the necks of two men.

Coarse language

The film contains some low-level coarse language and name calling that children may imitate throughout. Examples include:

  • kick your butt; big arse; shit; O my god; son of a bitch
  • dumb; stupid; idiot; freaks; monsters; nitwit; loser; knuckle heads

There is also toilet humour involving flatulence and nose-picking

In a nutshell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the shadows is the latest fantasy action adventure featuring the popular foursome. It is best suited to teen and adult fans of the series but is likely to attract younger children who like the associated toys. The film is not recommended for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for the 13 to 15 age group. It contains very frequent violence and scary scenes and characters. Because of this violence, it was originally classified M by the Australian Classification Board but, following an appeal, the Classification Review Board determined that the film should be classified PG.

The positive messages from this movie are about teamwork and acceptance of diversity, but the constant use of violence without showing realistic consequences also gives a very mixed message about the use of violence as a solution to problems. Parents may wish to discuss this with their children.