Men in Black

Men in Black

This imaginative summer comedy from director Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty) is a lot of fun, largely on the strength of Will Smith's engaging performance as the rookie partner of a secret agent (Tommy Lee Jones) assigned to keep tabs on Earth-dwelling extraterrestrials. There's lots of comedy to spare in this bright film, some of the funniest stuff found in the margins of the major action. (A scene with Smith's character being trounced in the distance by a huge alien while Jones questions a witness is a riot.) The inventiveness never lets up, and the cast--including Vincent D'Onofrio doing frighteningly convincing work as an alien occupying a decaying human--hold up their end splendidly. --Tom Keogh

Genre: Comedy, Short
Production: Columbia TriStar International
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 39 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:

[K and James are walking down a corridor at MIB headquarters. K hands James a file.]

Agent K:
Back in the mid-1950s the government started a little, underfunded agency with the simple and laughable purpose of establishing contact with a race not of this planet. ... Everybody thought the agency was a joke, except the aliens who made contact March 2, 1961, outside New York. There were nine of us the first night: seven agents, one astronomer, and one dumb kid who got lost on the wrong back road.

[He notices a picture of agents giving an alien flowers] Aww, you brought that tall man some flowers.

[K points]

Agent K:
This way. They were a group of intergalactic refugees. Wanted to the use the earth as an apolitical zone for ... creatures without a planet. Did you ever seen the movie Casablanca?

[James nods]

Agent K:
Same thing, 'cept no Nazis.


Agent K:
We agreed, and we concealed all the evidence of their landing.

[James looks at a picture]

Uh-huh, so these are real flying saucers, and the World's Fair was just a cover-up for their landing.

Agent K:
Why else would we hold it in Queens? More non-humans arrive every year and they live among us in secret.

Uh, look, I'm sorry, not to change the subject or anything, but when was the last time you had a CAT scan?

Agent K:
'Bout six months ago, it's company policy.

Right, you should make another appointment. Um, look, tell your boy Zed I had an absolutely wonderful time, and thank you for everything, but... [He hands the file back] ...why don't you show me the door?

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