Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, the original Men in Black movie was a pop culture sensation that enabled Smith to enter a crazy level of stardom. The following Men in Black movies never lived up to the greatness of the 1st one, falling behind for different reasons. The 1st movie’s success both in terms of critical acclaim and box office numbers was not beaten by the sequels (except by Men in Black 3 in terms of box office success) mostly because it created high standards to live up to.
Men in Black (1997) grossed over $589.3 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film made by Sony until it was surpassed by none other than Spider-Man in 2002. The amount of money the movie brought would make you think a sequel would follow quite soon but that wasn’t the case. Men in Black II came out 5 years later and even more surprising is the fact that the 3rd movie came 10 years later in 2012. A 3rd sequel was made as well but this time without the original duo (Jones and Smith) which proved to be a disastrous idea.
Anyways, let’s talk about each movie’s good and bad sides in this list in which we have all Men in Black movies ranked, from best to worst. We ranked the movies not only according to reactions they got from viewers but also from critics.
1. Men in Black 1
The original movie is the most successful one in terms of critical acclaim as it has a 92% rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Everything about this movie is just perfect: It’s fun, and has great acting from its 2 lead actors: Tommy Lee Jones, the legendary Academy-award-winning actor who plays one of the Men in Black, a secret organization that tries to conceal the existence of aliens that are on Earth, and Will Smith, another Oscar winner who was the center of controversy the night that he won his 1st Academy award. Smith plays Jones’ partner, another agent from the MIB organization.
Apart from being enjoyable and having good performances, the movie also has amazing creatures created with incredibly realistic CGI that steals the show.
What else can we say about this movie other than emphasizing its greatness when compared to other Men in Black movies.
2. Men in Black 3
The 2nd best Men in Black movie is Men in Black 3 despite receiving mixed reviews (68% on Rotten Tomatoes). The film had its good sides and the bad ones, one of the good ones being the charming and charismatic acting provided by the lead actors, this time Josh Brolin (as the younger version of Jones’ character) alongside Will Smith. With that being said, the addition of Brolin is also the downside of the movie because it means we see Jones less, which seems like a total betrayal to the original duo that we loved and watched in the previous 2 movies.
The movie is entertaining and interesting but most reviewers criticized the film’s script, stating that it was a mess. Although it is the highest-grossing Men in Black movie ($624 million), it is not as good as the original in terms of quality.
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3. Men in Black 2
The long-awaited MIB sequel was such a disappointment for fans and critics alike. The movie received a deserving 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes Most reviewers pointed out Jones and Smith’s performances as the only good thing about this movie and stated that even they couldn’t save the movie. The major aspect of the movie that was criticized the most was the unoriginality of the script and the fact that it only tried to imitate the 1st movie. Nothing new is presented in MIB 2 and there are no surprises and no notable or memorable moments.
4. Men in Black: International
The worst movie on our list of Men in Black movies ranked from best to worst is Men in Black International starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. We don’t want to sound like we’re clinging to the past but a Men in Black movie without Jones and Smith was already doomed if you ask us. The movie received the lowest ratings among the Men in Black movies by critics (23% on Rotten Tomatoes) and rightly so. Although Thompson and Hemsworth’s chemistry in Thor Ragnarok was great, it doesn’t work so well here. It’s not funny, the characters are not relatable or charming, nothing is provoking or creative, and everything is forgettable.