Men in Black

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ed Solomon
Director of Photography:Don Peterman
Editor:Jim Miller
Music:Danny Elfman
Production Designer:Bo Welch
Alien Makeup Effects:Rick Baker
Producers:Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald
Columbia; PG-13; 98 minutes
Cast:Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio, Rip Torn and Tony Shalhoub
Based on the comics by Lowell Cunningham

What's all the fuss about? MIB won widespread praise from critics and fans alike, but it's really a run-of-the-mill alien film with a few sly one-liners and some stylistic effects. The problem may not be the film itself; possibly it's our expectations. The $100 million movie has become passé. We want our blowups big, often and outrageously expensive. Man in Black K (Jones) recruits NYPD cop James (Smith) to join his secretive government agency, Men in Black, to protect the universe from unlicensed aliens. James's name is shortened to J, he loses his identity and he and K hit the streets of New York in search of a bug who has gotten under the skin of a grumpy farmer (D'Onofrio) and threatens to destroy the galaxy. The MIB take their orders from Zed (Torn), who runs the Ellis Island of the aliens from an underground metropolis.

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