Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
Watch On
  1. 100
    The snappy sci-fi hoot Men in Black...is a kind of "Independence Day" for smart people.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    The smartest, funniest, and best-looking sci-fi comedy since the movies learned to morph.
  3. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    88
    The script by Ed Solomon is tight, well-paced and lighthearted. If this were a musical, Fred Astaire could have played the Jones role, although somewhat more dashingly.
  4. 88
    A smart, funny and hip adventure film in a summer of car wrecks and explosions. [4 July 1997]
  5. Sonnenfeld moves things along with alacrity and panache, serving up the exotic visuals quietly, blending in the sprightly humour efficiently, and keeping the mix at a rolling boil.
  6. Don't expect any psychological depth here, but the cool wit and fun... are deftly maintained, and Sonnenfeld provides a bountiful supply of both fanciful beasties and ingenious visuals.
  7. 80
    Sonnenfeld deftly orchestrates the intricate two-part harmony, and Smith and Jones -- a powerhouse comic pair -- make it all look easy.
  8. 80
    Behind its mask of deadpan goofiness, it's a friendly, clever picture, one that doesn't feel untouched by human hands. And at an hour-and-a-half, it doesn't wear out its welcome.
  9. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith give uproarious comic performances as government agents ordered to keep New York's monsters in Manhattan, where they'll blend right in with the rest of the confusion.
  10. 75
    When the plot finally does click in, it slows down the trajectory a little, but not fatally.
  11. 75
    The movie that "Mars Attacks!" wanted to be, but wasn't. This is a snappy, clever, often-funny motion picture that provides the perfect blend of science fiction-style action with comic dialogue.
  12. A genially twisted riff on the familiar alien invaders story, a lively summer entertainment that marries a deadpan sense of humor to the strangest creatures around.
  13. 70
    A great goof of a film...However daftly amusing, and periodically inspired, Men in Black is distinctly short on character and plot, even for a cartoon.
  14. 70
    Sonnenfeld, who demonstrated a knack for Gothic comedy in "The Addams Family," brings the same mischievous gleefulness to this deliriously macabre enterprise.
  15. The movie, which is based on the Lowell Cunningham comic book series, throws out some wonderful implications, but they’re frustratingly few and far between.
  16. 60
    Extravagant special effects notwithstanding, this is really a triumph of casting: The aplomb with which Jones plays wry straight man to Smith's street-smart wiseacre is terrifically enjoyable.
  17. Reviewed by: Stephen Thompson
    60
    Deserves credit for supplementing its special effects with a breezy script and genuinely charismatic performances by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
  18. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    A witty and sometimes surreal sci-fi comedy, Men in Black is a wild knuckleball of a movie that keeps dancing in and out of the strike zone.
  19. The aliens aren't particularly scary or funny, and so the joke of watching Smith and Jones crack wise in their faces wears thin.
  20. 50
    Like the inky void of space, there's really not much here, but what there is, is certainly entertaining.
  21. Summer fluff that admits to being summer fluff, but it's no better off for admitting it...Intended as lightweight comedy, but if you think about it too much, it's not so funny.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 231 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. CRL
    Aug 26, 2011
    10
    One of the best sci-fi comedies ever that plays perfectly off of the chemistry of its phenomenal leads and it's lighthearted and smart butOne of the best sci-fi comedies ever that plays perfectly off of the chemistry of its phenomenal leads and it's lighthearted and smart but still somewhat crazy plot. Full Review »
  2. Oct 2, 2011
    8
    "Men in Black" is a beast in entertaining the audience. It's joyfully unpredictable and fun with great characters. Great job, Barry Sonfield!!!
  3. Jun 20, 2013
    7
    Men in Black was such an entertaining well acted sci-fi comedy. I enjoyed the chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith and the bugsMen in Black was such an entertaining well acted sci-fi comedy. I enjoyed the chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith and the bugs are kind of cool. Full Review »