Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith (pictured) star as the titular characters with a mission to protect the Earth from the scum of the universe in this hilarious sci-fi comedy adventure, based on the cult comic book series.
The MIB is a top-secret agency set up to monitor and police alien activity on Earth, which has been designated an apolitical "neutral zone" - the galactic equivalent of Switzerland. Agents who work for the MIB have no identity and there is no record of their existence, while funding for the agency comes from patents it owns on technology confiscated from aliens: Velcro, microwave ovens and liposuction are just a handful of luxuries unthinkable without a little help from extraterrestrials.
James Edwards (Smith), a cop with the NYPD, enters this strange world when he is recruited by Agent K (Jones), a senior member of the MIB. Edwards is renamed Agent J, and it's K's job to show the newest member of the agency the ins and outs of the job, which include turning up at UFO landing sites and wiping the memories of any witnesses with a "Neuralizer" before offering a more mundane explanation for what the witness "saw".
Before long the agents have a more serious case to investigate when they start tracking an alien insect called a Bug (Vincent D'Onofrio), which has killed a farmer and is using his skin as a disguise. The Bug's plan is to steal a tiny galaxy secretly hidden inside an ornament worn by a cat belonging to the royal family of another planet. The government of this planet is prepared to have the Earth destroyed rather than let the Bugs claim the galaxy, plunging the veteran agent and his raw recruit into a desperate race against time to save the world.
Released in 1997, Jones provides deadpan support to the more hyperactive Smith, while Fiorentino and Rip Torn are excellent value as a cynical medical examiner and the MIB chief respectively. Barry Sonnenfeld, who would go on to work with Smith again on Wild Wild West, directed this action-packed blockbuster, which earned over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office and won an Oscar for best make-up for its stunning alien designs.