men in black 3

Men in Black 3

Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
May 24, 2012

The alien-busters are back, baby. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones still rock that Reservoir Dogs look as two secret agents in the extraterrestrial waste-disposal business. But, jeez, we haven't seen these dudes in 10 years. My memory is that the first Men in Black, in 1997, hit all its marks as creature-feature farce. Five years later, though, the sequel was a giant yawn. The good news is that director Barry Sonnenfeld has reassembled the troops to mostly gangbusters effect. Yeah, Men in Black 3 (in 3D, yet) suffered production delays, a budget that ballooned to $215 million, and 215 million script revisions (I'm kidding, barely). It was Smith himself who had the idea to send his character, Agent J, back in time to 1969 to stop Boris the Monster (The Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement) from assassinating Jones' Agent K. Don't panic, I've seen the movie and I still don't get it. What works, like comic hellfire, is the casting of Josh Brolin as the young Agent K. Brolin's take on Jones' deadpan delivery (they co-starred in No Country for Old Men) is spot-on and spectacularly funny. Better yet, Brolin brings in a true actor's grace, adding humor and heart that help explain the origins of Agent K's moody blues. Jones disappears for most of the second half, but not before he and Smith trade barbs and slaughter E.T. scum. The effects are cheese-whizzy fun, but it's the unexpected spark between Smith and Brolin that makes MiB3 primo summer fun. Way cool.

At the Movies with Peter Travers: Josh Brolin Is Amazing in 'Men in Black 3'
Peter Travers' Summer Preview: 10 Must-See Movies

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »