Men in Black (1997) Poster

(1997)

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7/10
Men in Black: The Galaxy Defenders
Kristine29 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
God, do I remember when this movie came out in the summer of '97. This movie brought aliens back in the strongest way possible, everyone was singing Will Smith's catchy song of the same title. But I remember seeing this movie and just wearing out the VHS when we got it. As a 12 year old kid, I just adored this movie and so badly wanted to be apart of the Men in Black. I thought they were so cool. Years later, I got the DVD because I wanted to go for a trip down memory lane, this may not be as cool as when I was a kid but this is still a very fun sci-fi flick that makes you laugh, squirm and also has some good scares. There is a reason why Will Smith is a star, he made this movie a riot to watch and has every star quality you could imagine. He and Tommy Lee Jones take us on an incredible ride through our world where the person that lives next door to you just might be an alien.

Agent K is a member of the Men in Black, a secret agency without ties to any government, whose goal is to maintain Earth as a "neutral zone" for aliens seeking refuge. K's former partner, D, has just retired, but identifies New York City detective James Edwards as a potential replacement, due to his agility to follow a disguised alien. After putting Edwards through several tests, K offers him the chance to join the MIB, which Edwards accepts. Edwards' past identity is erased, and he becomes Agent J, assigned to K by the agency director, Zed. The fleet warns that a "Bug," a member of a giant cockroach-like alien species that are currently at war with another alien race, has crashed down to Earth and is seeking an object known as the Galaxy that would turn the tide in favor of the Bugs. To prevent this, they are willing to destroy the Earth unless the MIB can secure the Galaxy before their deadline within a day.

The make up effects in this movie are just incredible. The main villain that was the bug was one of the creepiest looking things you've ever seen. Vincent D'Onofrio who is one of those great secrets of Hollywood always delivers an outstanding performance makes the villain even more creepier because of his jerks and twitches. The CGI effects are very noticeable but I don't think they could have gone any other way since the aliens are over the top. The humor is on key, one of my favorite scenes is when Tommy Lee Jones is trying to find out information and you see Will Smith in the background who is helping a lady give birth to an alien and the tentacles come out and start carrying him around everywhere and even slam him on the car. Men in Black is the definition of a summer blockbuster, it's funny, action packed, had the great actors and a very catchy song that is now stuck in my head thanks to this review. I still like Men in Black, I think anyone who just lets go and watches this film is guaranteed to have a good time too.

7/10
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8/10
Smart, funny spoof that is impossible not to like!
Chromium_511 December 2004
"Men in Black" and "Galaxy Quest" are in my mind the best sci-fi comedies ever made, because they are both hilarious parodies of two different cultures. Whereas the latter spoofed obsessed fans who take sci-fi entertainment WAY too seriously, this one spoofs the paranoid, tin-foil-hat brand of conspiracy theorists. It has funny characters, witty lines, and does not at all take itself seriously.

There are a lot of small details that can take multiple viewings to catch. One thing I found funnier the second time I watched it is the scene where Will Smith has just been severely lectured by his boss in the interrogation room when Tommy Lee Jones enters, asks a few questions, and tells Smith to come with him. Smith: "I can't, there's still a lot of paperwork to fill out." Jones: "No, the paperwork is all taken care of." Smith's boss (walking by): "Hey, nice work, Edwards!" This is one of many quick, funny scenes that you only really get if you're paying attention.

All the actors do a good job, too. I thought Rip Torn was the funniest character, and Edgar the bug was hilariously gross. Linda Fiorentino was one of the coolest female characters ever. She put Ripley to shame. Every time I watch this, I want to marry her.

Overall, it's a great comedy that is clever and fun all the way through. 8/10 stars.
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7/10
Funny, effects laden sci-fi comedy
mjw230523 January 2007
Agents Jay (Will Smith) and Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) protect our world, that is crammed full of aliens who live among us, and most of them are respectful citizens of planet Earth, but every race can have a bad apple or two. Smith and Jones make an unlikely pair, but they work in harmony really well here, and it's a pretty funny adventure.

Fine special effects help to bring the aliens in MIB to life, and they have as much character as the duo in black, and they get just as many laughs. The film carries a good plot and is entertaining from the opening scene; which sets the tone of the film nicely, and makes you yearn for some more.

7/10
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10/10
Fun, memorable sci-fi comedy has lots of personality thanks to director, composer, and two lead actors.
Ben Parker19 July 2004
Agent K (Jones)'s partner retires, so he has to find a new one. Street cop Will Smith seems an unlikely contender to join this very special service and help K battle illegal aliens.

Barry Sonnenfeld's experience as a cinematographer put him in good stead for planning this quirky fun sci-fi comedy.

Men in Black is given life by Sonnenfeld's shot-choices, for greatest comic effect, terrific fun musical score by Danny Elfman, and two perfectly cast actors: Tommy Lee Jones' wry delivery and Will Smith's comic persona make for a movie with some real personality.

Vincent D'Onofrio is a memorable bad guy - especially when we don't have to look at his regular face.

A few death scenes will be too gruesome for kiddies, but once they're a certain age its bound to be one of their favourite movies. Such terrific imaginative fun.

10/10

Woman: "You here to make fun of me, too?' K: "No maam, we here at the FBI do not have a sense of humour we're aware of. May we come in?"
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One of the best sci-fi comedies ever made.
crowrobot22 April 2004
As my one line summary says, this is one of the best sci-fi comedies ever made, next to the classic Ghostbusters and the highly underrated Evolution. This movie has action, comedy, and some of the best special effects in the last ten years. Rick Baker, Hollywood's resident 'creature man', as I like to call him, has made such a wide variety of aliens. There's the first alien we see, Mikey; there's the Worm Guys; and the villanous Bug. But there are many others, such as Frank the Pug and the twins. The squid baby is pretty neat. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith have an undeniable chemistry together, which repeats itself in the sequel. Linda Fiorentino is also good as the leading lady, and veteran actor Rip Torn is gruff as the head of MIB, Zed. Vincent D'Onofrio is also pretty good. My favorite line: "No, ma'am. We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor that we are aware of." All in all, two thumbs up, baby!
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9/10
A great fantasy-comedy
drevil19857 May 2005
I am very upset that most people take this movie too seriously This movie is just a nice comedy with a very intriguing subject. Most people try to find bug in this movie but i believe that they should just sit back and enjoy the great epic line. Let's be serious do you believe that a galaxy can be carried around a cat's belt or that "Elivs is not dead he's just gone home" ? For this reason I believe this is an excellent comedy with a Sf theme. I also appreciate that the acting is very good and the script is very nicely written. I urge people to stop taking the "noisy cricket" too serious! This movie is making fun of the people who take this sort of things too seriously.
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9/10
Funny Sci-Fi. As Good As Ghostbusters.
mOVIemAN5615 May 2005
As I stated above, Men In Black is just as good as the sci-fi comedies Ghostbusters I and II. But instead of chasing ghost's we're chasing after rogue aliens.

James (Will Smith) is an officer in the NYPD and one of the top officers. After a hard night, James is questioned by his own police force for allegedly killing a suspect who fell off a building. As James insists that the person was acting strangely, Agent K (Tommmy Lee Jones) comes in and takes him out.

James is welcomed to a secret agency which keeps aliens in check. After a brief examination of his life, James (now Agent J) joins the agency. On his first day, suddenly K and J are on a mission to stop a massive cockroach from destroying Earth and starting a galactic war.

The chemistry between Smith and Jones is hilarious. Smith has some great comedy scenes especially when he is using his new weapon, the Noisy Crickett and him trying to deliver a baby squid type creature. The aliens are smart, their inventive, and their just plain fun when seeing how they identify themselves and hide their identities. The story is funny and will keep you laughing at almost every scene.

The presentation of aliens as everyday people trying to live normal lives in Manhattan is a lot more fun than the presentation of murderous aliens (Independence Day). Another great part is that the film isn't overblown with special effects of alien explosions and massive battles. Instead comedy and chemistry keeps this top comedy flowing.

Men In Black. Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, and Rip Torn.

4 1/2 out of 5 Stars.
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7/10
"I never seen sugar do that."
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews22 May 2012
The Men in Black(based on a comic I've never read, spawning a TV series I haven't watched, so I can make no comparisons to either) are an agency that protect Earth from not only what the aliens, some of whom are already here, might do to it, but also the common man's ignorance of this situation. It opens a doorway into a fantastic world(whilst playing it straight since most of these guys are used to this stuff) that would be overwhelming were it not for rookie agent J(Will Smith, who brings both his sass and undeniable charm) posing as a proxy for the audience, asking the questions we want to, and being given the exposition and explanations that we need. He is likable in his naiveté and his efforts to help the people affected by the outer-space stuff, and the odd couple dynamic between him and K(Tommy Lee Jones, awesome and enjoyable as the old grump who's blasé about what they experience) is great, as are the various other character aspects. Linda Fiorentino is perfectly cast as a somewhat cold coroner, and she has a nice, strong female role. As the villain, we have Vincent D'Onofrio giving an unforgettable and unique performance as the large cockroach(!) wearing the skin of farmer Edgar. It's a size or two too small, leading to it/him making some rather inelegant movements and… possessing poor motor skills. And don't worry, at the same time, he's seriously scary. He's immensely physically powerful, and he can't *stand* humans. This really gets into perspective, and that the importance of something is not defined by its size. This is primarily a comedy, as well as a fun sci-fi action adventure with some very unexpected situations and outcomes. It's exciting, engaging and a cool universe that we want to see more of, with this being a brief(and well-paced) peek at roughly 90 minutes. There are creatively designed creatures and big, shiny guns. Danny Elfman supplies this with a bombastic and playful score. There is a bit of moderate to strong language and a little violence and gore(little of it involving people, and just about none of that graphic) in this. I recommend this to fans of the stars and the concept. 7/10
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An Unlikely Comedy Team Carries This Film
tfrizzell7 August 2000
"Men in Black" is a fast-paced action-comedy that over-achieves the whole way. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith make an amazing comedy team as the title characters who protect the Earth from the scum of the universe. Everything is tongue-in-cheek and the whole film works in a really great way. A great film that benefits from its characters and amazing special effects. 4 out of 5 stars.
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10/10
Highly entertaining and funny sci-fi/comedy
brchthethird14 November 2014
I'm about 16 years late seeing this, and I saw the third one first (with no need for #2), but I must say that this is one of the most fun movie-watching experiences I've ever had. It was non-stop laughs and thrills from beginning to end. The element which stuck out to me as being done extraordinarily well was the writing, specifically the comic interplay between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Their characters are so different, and yet play off each other so well. Even the smaller parts were well-written and played. Of particular amusement to me was the largely physical performance given by Vincent D'Onofrio as the main bad bug. You can tell he gave it his all with his awkward speech patterns and movements. It really seemed like he was adjusting to a human body, and it was all done with a sly sense of humor. The only thing I find lacking was some dated CG, but considering it came out over 15 years ago, it was fine. If anything it adds to the B-movie charm, and some of alien design was probably influenced by 1950's "Creature Features" anyway. All things considered, it was an absolutely incredible and enthralling viewing experience. It's just a shame I waited so long to check it out.
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8/10
Fast moving science fiction comedy.
Aaron137510 July 2005
This movie was really fun to watch the first time I saw it in theaters, upon subsequent viewings, however, it loses its luster. Still though, it is still a fun movie to watch. Unlike the sequel which rushes us through the story, this one takes a bit more time developing the characters even though it is only about ten minutes longer. Both Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are very good and funny, especially Smith because he is the new guy so he is seeing all the weird aliens and such for the first time. This is also something missing from the sequel. In the end though the reason I probably like this one so much is that it sort of reminds me of a Ghostbuster movie, and seeing as how we will most likely never see another sequel to that movie it is nice to see a movie sort of like it in that they are keeping tabs and hunting aliens rather than ghosts. The pug dog scene is funny, and the dog is not over used as in the sequel, and there is also a funny scene where Will Smith must deliver an alien baby...their main objective in this one is to track down an alien insect that has hijacked the skin of a guy and is trying to find a universe. If he succeeds the Earth is destroyed, of course Tommy Lee's character is so calm about the whole situation that you feel you have nothing to worry about. So for a funny movie that has great scenes of Will Smith training and becoming a Man in Black watch this film and do yourself a favor and skip part two...not that it was entirely bad, I liked it okay, but it just seems like an unnecessary sequel.
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10/10
Modern sci-fi needs to revisit this
mistoppi16 July 2016
This movie is simply so lovable, and it has affected many people who have seen it. Men In Black has such a nice atmosphere, and it's not gritty and dark as science fiction or fantasy written these days. How many people have seen this movie and were immediately (not entirely seriously) convinced aliens have visited us? When it's a movie like Men In Black, it's so much more fun believing aliens might exist. There are movies that make aliens seem like killing machines whose only purpose is to destroy human race OR they are the kind of wise creatures who are so much better than us. But the aliens in Men In Black are - apart from the villains - almost sympathetic. They seem nice and really ordinary.

Most of the charm of this movie comes from Will Smith. He is a talented actor, and his experience in comedy such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air has given him the ability to deliver comedic lines wonderfully. For him they are natural, and while Tommy Lee Jones's character Kay doesn't get as many one-liners, said by him the feeling is different.

The character Jay is exactly how many of us would like to be in a situation like this. Of course the aliens and secret organisations are all new to him and he is allowed to be openly confused, but he still seems extremely excited about everything instead of being too broody or too angry like most heroes in action.

This movie was made in 1990s, and the effects aren't what we see in the theaters these days, but they are still pretty damn amazing. When we are used to see the extremely beautiful science fiction, something as simple as Men In Black is a nice change.

Men In Black is simple science fiction comedy. It's a movie that made me like science fiction, and is still probably the reason I'm not into the kind of science fiction where everything is in space and where you can see the filmmakers tried way too hard. Men In Black has a quite simple setting, quite simple plots and ordinary characters. Jay could be anyone of us, chosen by almost randomly instead of having some kind of great destiny. This is what science fiction needs to revisit. This is amazing.
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"Men in Black" is a fun and original take on the alien genre.
Dominic LeRose29 November 2014
We're so familiar with aliens terrifying the bejeesus out of us in films that it's refreshing to see a well-known classic spoof the genre. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones work miracles together playing detective-like heroes assigned to take down and destroy aliens. Jones is hilarious. Usually playing serious men, Jones is so funny and doesn't take himself too seriously. Bruce Willis has nothing on him. Will Smith is a little out of control and that't the reason his performance works. He's a funny dude who isn't fit for saving the world. Jay and Kay bond perfectly together breathing energy to this fun film as well as an ounce or two of heart. Seeing Smith and Jones wear sunglasses and fancy suits while holding giant space guns is a cinematic sight no one can forget. With visual effects pretty spellbound for the time, "Men in Black" is fun and entertaining throughout. It can't compare to some of the other films mostly relying on unique creatures to draw us in, but it's such an original story that has a witty script by Ed Solomon and well-handled directing by Barry Sonnenfeld who not only knows how to blend comedy and intense action, but can make you truly care about the men in black shooting up giant cockroach aliens and working like charmers. "Men in Black" does get a little odd at times, not staying true to its premise and taking some plot turns that I wasn't particularly fond of. However, this film stays fun throughout and should be seen to experience 90's blockbuster action.
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10/10
MIB: A Special Effects Joy-Ride All the Way!
mike4812828 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The term "Men in Black" refers to the slick black suits and wraparound sunglasses that all MIB agents wear. Like "Ghostbusters", it's both a comedy and a scary sci-fi movie. The evil alien bug kills seven people: He eats Edgar and then puts on his skin as an "Edgar" suit to pass as human. He also kills: the "Zap-'Em" bug exterminator. A waiter and 2 aliens at the sleazy Greek Restaurant, where aliens eat pierogies. The tow-truck driver and the bug-smashing morgue clerk. All because he is looking for the "universe hanging from Orion's belt", which is hidden somewhere on Earth. Other carnage: An alien jumps off the Guggenheim Museum. "K" zaps "Mikey" the bug-eyed alien. The giant cockroach swallows "K" whole so therefore it gets blow apart; twice. Thrilling CGI by ILM. According to the MIB: The aliens among us include Al Roker, Sly Stalone and Martha Stewart. Elvis didn't die, he just went back to his home planet. Aliens are taxidrivers, pawnshop clerks with heads that-grow-back and tandem bicyclists. Agent "J" has his hands-full delivering an alien baby squid. The agency's headquarters is a huge complex with Rip Torn as the boss (Agent "Zed"). Just remember: there are maybe 1500 aliens on Earth at any one time. Most of them live in New York City and Queens. The secret government agency run by "The Men in Black" is your first line of defense against total chaos and destruction from alien invaders, such as the Arquillians. Terrific alien "suits" by make up genius Rick Baker. Look for the alien bug suit worn in the movie "Explorers". My favorite supporting characters: "Frank" the talking Pug dog and the sexy "morgue queen". "Don't zap her so much, she'll develop brain cancer and forget half of the classes she learned in medical school."-Will Smith as agent "J". The most perfect example of contemporary filmmaking: Best film editing, cinematography, CGI, musical score, sound editing, scripting and comedy acting that you will ever see. Miles ahead of "Ghostbusters". Vincent D'Onofrio (as "the bug wearing the Edgar suit") gives the most convincing performance. He should have won an Academy Award. Note: The MIB music video is not on the one disc DVD repackaged version. Easily the best of the 3 movies in the series.
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10/10
An always surprising and amazing action/adventure sci-fi comedy.
kenobi726 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best and most original films to come out of Hollywood in the last 20 years. Director Barry Sonnenfeld takes his unashamedly different approaches to film and comedy into the area of the "comic book movie franchise" genre. The wonderful cast is headed up by the always dependable Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith as Agents K and J, respectively. It is an absolutely delightful film, in every sense of the word. The movie combines drama with humor and action, and does it very well. It is the best film I've seen in the area of achieving these moments of fierce action and real-world occurrences, directly followed up by moments of off-the-wall sci-fi adventure and outrageous dialog/characterizations/body language. 'Men in Black' is more or less three parallel stories running simultaneously, all expertly navigated by Sonnenfeld. We have the background story of the Men in Black agency, being told to us by Agent K and Director Zed (Rip Torn). In a nutshell, the agency has been around for a long time now. It is tasked with monitoring alien activity and protecting Earth's citizens from any harm the aliens might have planned. Smith first shows up as NYPD cop James Edwards, who through a very strange (yet hilarious) set of occurrences, is gradually inducted into the agency and learns the ropes, therefore becoming the newest recruit. And we have the not-so-unfortunate story of a douche bag farmer named Edgar, who is killed but his skin is used as a disguise 'Edgar suit' for an evil alien bug. This bug plans to find an item of great importance to him and to other alien races, so that a certain war between two of these races can continue, and his own race can continue to feed off the casualties - literally. Now, while this may seem like a lot of unnecessary explanation leading to a lot of unnecessary exposition in the film, this is simply not so. The story is explained, very quickly, in just a few scenes. Sometimes, we figure out things as the characters do, other times, we are let in on stuff long before the characters ever are. But the film does not ever lose pace because of these elements, nor does it stop so the audience can catch up with all these goings-on. The film purposefully barrels along at a breakneck speed, and the audience is just expected to dive right in and hold on for dear life. Once this is accomplished, the story is really not that hard to understand. However, if one feels that the story disappoints or just doesn't understand it, then the film is always entertaining just as a great popcorn flick. This would also probably be the case for why small children enjoy these films so much - they may not understand the story particulars, but they like the special effects and the comedic moments. This is all assisted by not only the main cast, but also by several great character actors and actresses, such as Tony Shalhoub and Siobhan Fallon. Whichever way you look at it, 'Men in Black' is a ridiculously entertaining ride of action and all kinds of comedy, and I highly recommend it. Which is not something I can say for 'Men in Black II', unfortunately. Since I haven't seen 'Men in Black III' as of yet, I cannot comment on it in the slightest. I'm hoping it's just as good, or better even, than this first installment.
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7/10
Fun sci-fi action film.
Paul Andrews31 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Men in Black starts as NYPD cop James Edwards (Will Smith) has an encounter with an alien disguised as a human, he is contacted by the mysterious Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) who tells him about a secret organisation that monitor & control alien activity on Earth & if he wants a job he's in. Meanwhile a huge cockroach like alien has landed nearby & is in search of an Arquillian disguised as an antiques dealer (Mike Nussbaum) who has something he needs, a Galaxy in a marble. Edwards accepts the job & he becomes Agent J, he soon finds himself in the thick of the action as an Arquillian battle cruiser threatens to blow up Earth unless the Galaxy is returned to them...

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld who replaced Les Mayfield shortly before production began this is a pretty fun sci-fi with some neat special effects but when all said & done doesn't add up to much. Producer Steven Spielberg hired David Koepp to do a rewrite on the script by Ed Solomon which in all fairness ended up pretty good, it doesn't take itself too seriously & was based on character's from a comic book that only ran for 6 issues in 1990 & it's no co-incidence that the film feels like a comic book itself, it's very over-the-top, it's quite funny at times & it's even occasionally witty as well. There's a touch of satire here as the whole alien cover up issue is played for laughs as it's a commonly accepted theory. The cheeky & jokey Will Smith plays nicely of the deadpan Tommy Lee Jones, there are some funny one-liners, some neat aliens & it moves along at a nice pace. There are some good set-pieces as well although overall the story is average fair & while it's undoubtedly fun to watch there's not much substance beyond flashy CGI computer effects & once the whole Men in Black idea has worn off by the 30 minute mark it doesn't really have anywhere else to go & becomes a bit repetitive.

Director Sonnenfeld does a fine job, the special effects scenes are impressive & the film has visual flair & style. The alien creatures are very imaginative like the little guy in a mans face controlling him or the baby squid like alien or the worm guy's & all the other's that are dotted throughout the film. The special effects & CGI computer effects are superb as one would expect from a film with this sort of mega budget. That totally out of the blue ending that comes from nowhere is a bit odd though, don't you think? The violence is tame although there are maybe a few scary scenes that might not be suitable for younger children & there is a fair amount of bad language. Apparently Quentin Tarantino was offered the chance to direct Men in Black but turned it down, wow just imagine how the film might of turned out if he had accepted!

With a budget of about $90,000,000 Men in Black is well made with excellent production values as one would expect, it has that big budget Hollywood look & feel. Danny Elfman provides his usual recycled score that sounds the same as his other's. The acting is OK, the two leads play off each other well & are an amusing contrast at times, rumour has it after reading the script Will Smith didn't want to do the film but his wife convinced him otherwise. Apparently Clint Eastwood was offered the role of K but turned it down while Chris O'Donnell & David Schwimmer were both offered the part of J but foolishly, considering their's & Will Smith's subsequent careers, said no.

Men in Black is a good light hearted sci-fi film that can be witty, funny, clever & exciting but maybe not quite on a consistent level. It's still a very good film though & definitely one worth checking out if you haven't already. Followed by a sequel Men in Black II (2002) a cartoon series Men in Black: The Series (1997 - 2001).
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Alias Smith & Jones
george.schmidt11 April 2003
MEN IN BLACK (1997) ***1/2 Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, Siobahn Fallon. Giddily hilarious sci-fi comedy: think a 90s "Ghostbusters" meets the "X-Files": hard-as-nails, deadpan Jones (a great master straight man) is one of many secret agents of MIB (Men In Black) recruiting steetsmart, mouthy Smith (a great wiseass) to team up and stop an intergalactic alien bug (in rotting human form D'Onofrio who gives a brilliant, funny turn) from wiping out the Earth and all mankind. Incredible out there special effects from ILM and ingenious aliens from self-professed "Monster Maker" makeup guru Rick Baker. Hip, clever dialogue and fine chemistry from the odd couple gives this comic book adaptation of Lowell Cunningham a glossy work over including Bo Welch's inventive production design and Danny Elfman's atmospheric score. Fluid direction by Barry Sonnefield.
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8/10
Great fun sci-fi!
lhrlinha23 March 2015
I recently re-watched MIB. It's been years since I had last seen it, I used to love this movie as a child, but only now I can actually see how smart it really is.

We follow Agent J as he discovers the truth: there is extraterrestrial life. We are just as surprised as him, and he serves as a guide to all these new crazy aliens. We also get to know the stoic agent K, with his own past and what he had to sacrifice just so he could do his job of keeping The Earth safe. We really like them throughout the movie. I don't even know if this works as a buddy cop movie, as K is more like a teacher and not only a partner.

During this last re watch I could see what I believe is the central theme: "Don't judge a book by it's cover", or the message that you shouldn't judge anyone by their appearance because they can be so much more and surprise you. It's everywhere in the film.

For example: The small gun that carries a big punch; all the aliens that look like normal humans; K's car that seems old; the aliens and the little girl in the test; and most of all, in J. In the beginning we only see him wearing these weird colorful clothes, and everyone thinks he is, well, not special. Then we see him in the suit, and he shows us what he really is about.

And in the end we get a glimpse of our own irrelevance in one of the best last scenes in the history of cinema. Even the universe may not be what it seems.

So, this is a great, smart movie, with a very solid story, great for children and adults alike. The effects, which stand the test of time, and details, are the cherry on top.
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7/10
Pretty Funny.
Robert J. Maxwell4 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This had been around on television for some time and I'd avoided it because it seemed so popular among the crowd that likes to see gore and ooze on the screen, and because I tuned in for a few minutes and caught scene in which the two men in black (Smith and Jones -- two exotic names for you) used ray guns to blow the head off an alien, and then another different head, covered with elastic glue, wriggled into sight. Enough is enough.

But I caught the whole film more recently and the humor is generally more subtle than that, although the usual special effects abound. I'll give an example of what I mean. Smith and Jones have just shot down a huge flying saucer that has whirled around the skies like a just-loosed inflated balloon. The saucer crashes into the earth a hundred yard from the two men, and its momentum carries it towards the duo standing there immobile. Closer and closer, it plows through the earth towards the two fixed figure, stirring up a monstrous cloud of roiling dirt and debris. It looks as if they're about to become part of that debris. Jones is starring defiantly at the approaching catastrophe as if staring down a villain in an action movie. Smith says nothing -- no wisecracks, no cries of fright. He simply glances briefly at Jones with an entreating expression. It's only an instant but it's at least as funny as any other scene in the movie.

The catastrophic shoot outs and wreckage may appeal to the kids but what I found most admirable were the smaller touches of absurdity. Multiple TV screens of aliens let loose on earth to lead normal lives include clips of Sly Stallone and a popular network weatherman. Two of the aliens, looking normal, or relatively normal, enter a restaurant for a chat. And the director and writer make sure that we see what they order. Not the usual fare, not sandwiches or spaghetti, but pierogi -- Polish dumplings.

I won't carry on about it. Will Smith is our proxy. He finds out what's going on as Tommy Lee Jones leads him through the problems they face. Smith is often puzzled, frightened, and given to ironic cracks. Jones is his opposite, the straight man who never smiles, and who is just as funny because his absurd statements are delivered deadpan. Ditto for Rip Torn, who plays it almost as a serious thriller. Linda Fiorentino is alluring as all get out and I'm glad she was there, so she could tumble through the trees in a short skirt.

The kids will get a kick out of the wreckage and the grown ups who are sensitive to the more delicate touches will find it funny.
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9/10
A Great Sci-fi movie with great special effects. Good job Will Smith!!
desert-jackets24 September 2013
"Men in Black" is a great movie, particularly for its sci-fi and dream geeks and it is the first version of the sequence. There are many things that make this movie successful. There is a great acting, fine music, and outstanding alien visuals. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith worked as two agents for an organization that deals with aliens known as Agent J and Agent K. Will Smith is as always the the best and Tommy Lee Jones as well is not far behind anyone. This movie has plenty of great things to discuss about; it is hilarious, adventurous, and filled with action-packed series.

I really love both characters as actors as both are truly the best actors in this revolutionary movie. In spite of the fact of not following the policies, J is selected over what he saw and appears to be more of a people person than the military people that are also workforce. Right from the commencement of this movie, the story catches the spectator's concentration because the viewers will have no thought to what is going on. It was not until minutes later when everything is exposed. Even after that, the spectators will have questions in large numbers. All your private questions will be answered when Will Smith comes into the equation. Once this occurs, things speed up real fast. Performing as villain, Edgar, performed as Vincent D'Onofrio. Although he's not a villain, he's just one repulsive bug-like alien. He's my favorite character in this film. The reason after this was how his personality is in general. The persona of Edgar is just simple rude. As for the special effects, they possess their own exclusivity that makes it tempting to only watch one time.

'Men in Black' is energy pumping sci-fi journey that'll keep you on the edge of your seat from begin to end. The first time ever I saw this movie was when I was coming back from Miami in December, 1997. When the aliens came into view, I was scared because of the special effects. In addition, the special effects and martial arts were very well played. The most amazing part in this sci-fi movie was the best quality men's suit worn by these celebrities to make this movie outclass. I saw the exact suits and jackets at one of the top ranking online site, desert leather.com where you can get all types of men's suites at very affordable price.
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9/10
No neuralyzer will be powerful enough to make you forget this experience ...
ElMaruecan822 August 2013
Through its effective combination of action, imagery and wit, "Men in Black" accomplishes the same exploit than "Back to the Future" and deserves the title of the second most classic Sci-fi comedy ever.

Indeed, being the genre that requires the most expensive budgets, the most use of special effects, art-design and make-up, and relying on the difficult premise of spectacular entertainment and philosophical insights about human condition, Sci-fi was the most likely genre to be condemned for gravity and solemnity, no matter how heart-pounding the action is. Hence the heavyweights like "Blade Runner", "Terminator 2", "Avatar" or more recently "Prometheus", when it's all about wowing the audience, plunging viewers in a world of wonders and amazement, their disbelief suspended beforehand.

How refreshing now to have a movie like "Men in Black", one of the most original contributions to Sci-fi but never taking both genre and budget for granted, and as a result, never taking itself seriously. "MIB" is a hilarious spy-action-comedy involving probably the coolest-looking secret agency of the same name, well with their Ray-Ban sunglasses and black and white suits; they sure have the coolest outfits. And talk about a thrilling job: monitoring aliens who visit or live on Earth, and controlling their movements inside and outside the planet. In fact, they're not even aliens but inter-galactic immigrants.

And it really suits the film that it introduces the MIB during an arrest of illegal immigrants. Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and his partner intercept the patrol, and quickly exposes the alien, a weird bug-eyed Mexican who doesn't seem to understand one word of Spanish. His face reveals to be a human mask only held by a creature that bears some strange resemblance –sorry for the outrageous reference- with the monster in "Howard the Duck's". The monster jumps on the horrified border patrolman but is immediately blown-up by Agent K spilling a disgusting blue slime all over the place and the poor guy's face.

And then comes the key moment that unveils the film's most memorable device (after the black suits and sunglasses): the neuralyzer. Just one red flash, and the witness's memories of their recent sightings (and prevent the agency from some undesirable publicity) are instantly erased. Not only the poor patrolman and his colleagues have no clue about what is going on, but K's partner who feels it's time to retire will get the same treatment. He watches the stars in the dark sky and sadly declares "I'll miss the chase", to which K answers "No you won't", putting on his trademark sunglasses, and adjusting the neuralyzer.

The film cuts to Edwards (Will Smith) a NYPD officer chasing an extraordinarily fast and agile criminal who leaves no doubt about his 'extra-terrestrial' background. No one believes Edwards, except for the coroner Dr. Laura Weaver who just discovered some pretty weird stuff during her autopsy, her enthusiasm will be abruptly cut in one neuralyzing flash from agent K. He confronts him with a pawnshop owner (Tony Shalhoub) in order to find out the model of weapon used by the alien, Geebs knows nothing and then the bad cop/ good cop routine is suddenly interrupted by K blowing Geeb's head off … but only as a warning, the head grows back, contributing to one of the film's most defining moment.

Still, Edwards is not part of the secret anymore and as we expect, gets a little red flash in the eye (believe me, it never gets redundant) However, K finds some potential in Edwards and leaves him a business card to assist to a recruiting session. The test, the admission in the headquarters, the little aliens who specialized in making coffee, and Rip Torn as Z, the head of the agency, everything is a triumph of design and humor. The 'MIB' is like an intergalactic 'spaceport' with the widest range of Aliens' you'll find in a film, but even the most rudimentary is more convincing than "Independence Day" atrocious octopuses.

And the place works as a galactic bureau of investigation as well with all the procedural you'd expect, and treated the most seriously. And that's the greatest thing about "MIB" that aliens are visiting Earth or trying to find a cover is treated as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world. In a brief screen showing different undercover aliens, we can immediately spot Sylvester Stallone, these gags are the soul of "Men in Black". And don't get me started with Pavillon State monument used as a disguise for two spaceships or a weird fireball being the cause of New York 1977 black-out.

But these gags work less because of their content than the way they're delivered. Tommy Lee Jones, with his humorless and very matter-of-fact tone, makes the weirdest information sound totally normal, therefore more hilarious. And the funniest thing is that we end up believing him. Would you believe he'll get the hottest information from cheap tabloid newspapers? Well, in fact, given the context of the film, it all makes sense.

However, the rhythm slows down a little because such a film still needs a villain who can only lead to more formulaic situation. The bad guy is played by Vincent d'Onofrio as a hillbilly whose skin was used to cover a hideous cockroach-like monster. His plot involves a small galaxy held by an Alien from an enemy planet, but it's not as creative as the whole set-up and while Fiorentino tries to find a place between the two leads, the film is never as funny and absorbing as when it involves Agent K and Agent J. The ending is perfect though with a last shot that teaches us a wonderful lesson of intergalactic-humility.

As a comedy, "MIB" captures the existential Sci-fi spirit more than serious films : life's a joke, but stars are still beautiful to watch or to paraphrase Will Smith, the difference between "MIB" and other Sci-fi, is that comedy makes it look good.
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9/10
Great Sci-Fi Film!!!
stoltz031 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Men in Black (MIB) (Columbia Pictures, 1997) is a sci-fi-thriller set in the 1980s. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, it stars well-known actors such as Tommy Lee Jones who plays K, Will Smith as J, and Linda Florentino as Laura. K recruits J to join a top secret government program that monitors and controls aliens living on earth. As alien monitors, they also work to keep peace among the alien nations who send representatives to earth to keep them safe knowing that the U.S. government is monitoring all alien activity. However, things go wrong when an alien bug lands in upstate New York without authorization, and begins a killing spree as it seeks a galaxy hidden on "Orion's Belt".

The film is a combination of conspiracy theory and alien sci-fi as K and J work in the government's top secret division, monitoring aliens and setting back the memory of civilians who encounter the aliens. The alien creatures, their human interaction, intergalactic travel, and ability to destroy plants with their battleships, is reminiscent of Star Wars. Throughout MIB, the camera angles use various techniques, from objective to subjective, with significant use of camera panning to set the stage for many of the scenes. The use of panning allows the viewer to gain familiarity with the setting before the action begins on the scene, such as in the morgue when the camera pans the sheet covered body of the tall alien before K and J come in to take care of the bodies and wipe the short term memory of coroner. Camera tilting is used to imply urgency or build suspense such as the "give the kid a weapon" scene. The motif of men in black is maintained as all members of the secret government program wear black after they are recruited into the program. The black is like a status symbol playing on years of Hollywood stereo casing of secret government agents, which makes it a humorous parody of conspiracy theories, mind altering technology, and laser weapons. Overall the film is was quite enjoyable for its pure entertainment factors, with just enough suspense to hold an audience's attention. Conspiracy theorists should love this film for its almost believability as aliens disguise themselves and live as ordinary citizens with a controlling government running secret programs to hide what ordinary people suspect, but have never been able to prove the existence of like sasquatch. Now I think I'm going to watch MIB II to see if the sequel is a good as the first!
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9/10
A Perfect Blend of Sci-Fi, Comedy, Action, and Will Smith at his Blockbuster Best
brando64724 June 2013
Whenever I'm in a movie discussion with friends and the topic drifts towards top comic book movies, I really need to remember to start including MEN IN BLACK. Released in 1997, I suppose you could say it was the first real mainstream Marvel comic adaptation (remember, BLADE wasn't released until 1998). To be honest, I wasn't even aware that it even was based on a Marvel comic until many years later. I guess the series was pretty short-lived, and the movie doesn't really do much to remain faithful to the source material. Still, a comic movie it is and it remains one of my favorites. It's funny, there's some great action, and the effects continue to hold up well even now. The Men in Black are a top-secret government organization dedicated to monitoring and policing extraterrestrial activity on Earth. When his partner retires, Agent K (Jones) sees potential in NYPD officer James Edwards (Smith). He recruits Edwards and exposes him to the truth: aliens are out there and they just want to go about their lives. Well, most of them. Edwards, rechristened as Agent J, has got his work cut out for him on his first investigation. An interstellar bug has arrived on Earth with galaxy theft on his mind, and an Arquillian battle cruiser has settled into orbit with weapons powered and intent to destroy the planet if the MiB don't provide them with said galaxy. The problem is: where does one hide an entire galaxy in the city of New York? Agents J and K had better figure it out or they won't have long to regret it.

MEN IN BLACK comes from a time when Will Smith was king of the summer blockbuster. He was at the top of his money making game, and MEN IN BLACK is one of his best summer action hits. MEN IN BLACK has all of the ingredients for a hit that continues to entertain long after it's left theaters. First and foremost, it's got a perfect blend of action, comedy, and science fiction. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have perfect chemistry, with Smith doing his usual routine (or what once was his usual routine) and Jones as his no-nonsense partner/mentor in the life of a MiB agent. The Smith/Jones partnership is the only factor that remained cool well into the sequel, despite everything else about it failing miserably. The creature effects in this movie are, somehow, better than both sequels combined. I imagine it's because it relies more on practical effects and makeup for the various alien creatures populating this world. Rick Baker's creature effects in MEN IN BLACK are fantastic. Mikey (the illegal alien), the worms, the Arquillian ambassador…the practical effects are the best effects. From the moment I first saw the original MEN IN BLACK, I'd hoped it would become an ongoing franchise. In my defense, that was before I knew how they'd nearly kill the franchise with the garbage that was MEN IN BLACK II. But there is still potential in the franchise; MEN IN BLACK 3 was nowhere near the train-wreck I was expecting and I would love for the series to continue on with new agents and the right writer/director.

What a new MEN IN BLACK will need that the second film forgot was a strong villain. The original movie had a great alien baddie: a giant cockroach crammed in the skin of a white trash human farmer named Edgar, as played by Vincent D'Onofrio. D'Onofrio was great, giving Edgar a host of bizarre ticks and stiff movements with a full-on hatred for humankind. Then there is Linda Fiorentino as local mortician Laurel Weaver, who's only really there for plot purposes. She's also supposed to fill the role of a possible love interest for Agent J, but nothing really comes of it and, come to think of it, she doesn't really do anything in the movie. I guess Weaver could be seen as the weakest link in the film. Weak love interest aside, the rest of the film is populated with appropriately weird faces to fill it out. Rip Torn is Zed, head of the MiB, and Tony Shalhoub is intergalactic arms dealer and local pawnbroker Jack Jeebs. MEN IN BLACK is still a lot of fun more than ten years since it was originally released. After having watched the original again after so many years and finding that I love it just as much as when I saw it the first time, I think the series is due for a reboot with new agents and new sci-fi craziness.
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10/10
Smith and Jones Are The Best Duo!
ShelbyTMItchell7 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Love both men as actors. As both are really the best duo in this groundbreaking film.

Agent K real name Kevin(Tommy Lee Jones) is retiring for personal reasons of his own. Despite his gruff interior is a soft side to him. As he recruits unorthodox cop, Office James aka Agent J(Will Smith).

Despite the fact of not following the rules, J is picked over what he saw and seems to be more of a people person than the military people that are also recruits.

Jones straight man to Smith's comic foil are an odd but nonetheless really hilarious match. As both must duel with aliens. That are humans in disguise. Taking on Vincent D Onofiro in a pre-Law and Order CI appearance as the antagonist! Fifteen years old nearly sixteen but still, a classic to date!
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