Men in Black

1997

Men in Black

Critics Consensus

Thanks to a smart script, spectacular set pieces, and charismatic performances from its leads, Men in Black is an entirely satisfying summer blockbuster hit.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 85
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Movie Info

For his fifth effort as a feature-film director, one-time cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld brought his cartoonish visual style and darkly humorous sensibilities to this adaptation of, appropriately enough, a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi comic book. Will Smith stars as James Darrel Edwards, a New York City cop with an athletic physique and a flippant, anti-authoritarian attitude toward law enforcement. After chasing down a mysterious perpetrator one night who turns out to be an alien, James is recruited by "K" (Tommy Lee Jones), a veteran of a clandestine government agency secretly policing the comings and goings of aliens on planet Earth. Nicknamed the "men in black" for their nondescript uniform of black suit, shoes, tie, and sunglasses, the agents are assigned to recover a bauble that's been stolen by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D'Onofrio). It seems the item is none other than the galaxy itself, and its theft has plunged humanity into the center of what's shaping up to become an interstellar war, unless K and his new wisecracking partner, now renamed "J," can stop the bad guy. On their side but somewhat in the dark is a pretty, unflappable city medical examiner (Linda Fiorentino) who has been zapped one too many times by K's ingenious memory-sapping device. Men in Black was a box office smash, inspiring an animated children's television series and a hit soundtrack album that featured a performance by star (and rapper) Smith. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Cast

Mike Nussbaum
as Gentle Rosenberg
Jon Gries
as Van Driver
Kent Faulcon
as Jake Jensen
Carel Struycken
as Arquillian
Fredric Lehne
as INS Agent Janus
Ken Thorley
as Orkin Man
Patrick Breen
as Mr. Redgick
Becky Ann Baker
as Mrs. Redgick
Sean Whalen
as Passport Officer
Harsh Nayyar
as News Vendor
Michael Willis
as Cop In Morgue
Willie C. Carpenter
as Police Inspector
Peter Linari
as Tow Truck Driver
David Cross
as Morgue Attendant
Steve Rankin
as INS Agent
Andy Prosky
as INS Agent
Fredric Lane
as INS Agent Janus
Michael Goldfinger
as NYPD Sergeant
Alpheus Merchant
as Security Guard
Norma Jean Groh
as Mrs. Edelson
Bernard Gilkey
as Baseball Player
Sean Plummer
as First Contact Alien
Michael Kaliski
as First Contact Alien
Richard Arthur
as 2nd First Contact Alien
Verne Troyer
as Alien Son
Mark Setrakian
as Rosenberg Alien
Tim Blaney
as Frank the Pug
Brad Abrell
as Worm Guy
Thom Fountain
as Worm Guy
Drew Massey
as Worm Guy
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News & Interviews for Men in Black

Critic Reviews for Men in Black

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (26)

  • Men in Black is the wryest, sharpest, most entertaining special effects film in recent memory, a simultaneous participant and mocking parody of the more-bang-for-your-buck behemoth genre.

    Aug 12, 2014 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • Men In Black deserves credit for supplementing its special effects with a breezy script and genuinely charismatic performances by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

    Aug 12, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Its attitude is poised somewhere between the deadpan ghoulishness of the Coen brothers and a Letterman-like sense of the absurdity of life in New York's rich ethnic stew.

    Aug 2, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Men in Black is moderately amusing, well-constructed and mercifully short, but it fails to deliver on the zaniness of its first half.

    Jul 31, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There's a playfulness, here, that you don't often find in a special-effect flick.

    Apr 14, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A smart, funny and hip adventure film in a summer of car wrecks and explosions.

    Apr 14, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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