Men in Black: International

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Men in Black: International Movie Poster Image
Reboot looks good but lacks spark; sci-fi/alien violence.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 27 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Good triumphs over evil, perseverance pays off, teamwork is championed, but violence is often used to achieve victory. Suggests that MIB agents must deny their emotional connections in order to work there; even so, a father-son connection more or less saves the day.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Agent M is a woman of color who has strength and agency; she's independent, tough, very smart. She's at her best in the movie's first part, using all her skills to get into MIB. Agent H is reckless, careless, but eventually pulls himself together.

Violence

Lots of over-the-top, cartoonish sci-fi violence. Bad guys "melt" a character's face and turn him into a goopy mess (somewhat scary). Lots of space guns are fired -- and some realistic guns, too. Fighting, punching, slamming. Alien characters killed. Scary aliens with glowing eyes and red energy beams. Chases, characters in peril. Comic slapping.

Sex

A female alien is shown sleeping with Agent H, presumably after a night of sex. He climbs out from under the covers, shirtless, and removes her (tentacled) arm from his naked chest. Brief masturbation joke. A male alien grinds his crotch at a human woman. Innuendo.

Language

One use of "f--k," plus a few uses of "s--t." Also "jackass," "ass-clown," "hell," "crap," "d--k," "butt," and "sucks."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Strong alien drinks consumed. Reference to a strong alien drug.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Men in Black: International is the fourth movie in the MIB series. It serves as a kind of reboot, as it's the first film in the franchise without original stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones -- Thor: Ragnarok co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson take over as the leads. As is typical for the series, characters are often in peril, and there's a lot of over-the-top alien/sci-fi violence, including scary alien monsters, space guns and shooting (and some realistic guns, too), a scary melting face/body, punching, fighting, chases, and more. Expect brief, mild sexual innuendo (including a masturbation joke). Hemsworth's character wakes up in bed with a female alien; he removes her tentacled arm from his naked chest to get up. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "hell," "d--k," and a few other words. Strong alien alcohol and drugs are briefly shown.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTeenmom2019 June 22, 2019

Mental Health Alert

Mental Health Alert: Parents should know that the main hero character bullies and encourages a grieving, suicidal character to kill himself during a couple of s... Continue reading
Parent Written bynuenjins September 4, 2019

Not the best MIB, but definitely NOT the worst.

Critics seem to forget the tragically disappointing and face palm parody of the original called MIB 2. Although MIB 3 was an uptick and improvement, the second... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old June 17, 2019

Fantastic plot twisting alien reboot

Parents need to know that Men In Black International is a fantastic reboot that definitely does not match what rotten tomatoes gives. It should be like in the 9... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMoviefanatic040 June 24, 2019

Very cool!

Looks amazing, really funny, great action, and pretty child friendly! The only non child friendly scene in this movie is an alien melting a guys face. It looks... Continue reading

What's the story?

In MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL, young Molly watches as her parents are visited by the Men in Black and neuralyzed after encountering an alien. She grows up wanting to join MIB and, through great perseverance, finally manages to find their headquarters. She's made a probationary agent, dubbed Agent M (Tessa Thompson), and sent to London, where she meets the reckless, charming Agent H (Chris Hemsworth). Their first mission is to meet a friendly alien called Vungus in a nightclub. After an attack by two powerful alien twins, Vungus gives Agent M a mysterious object, asking her not to trust anyone. Returning to headquarters, Agent M deduces that, for the attack to have happened, there must be a mole inside MIB headquarters. From there, M and H must keep tabs on the strange object -- and figure out what happened to Agent H on his last mission -- before they can save the universe.

Is it any good?

The fourth movie in the sci-fi/comedy series arrives at much the same place as the other sequels; it's fine but flat -- it's not as funny, surprising, or wondrous as the 1997 original. Thompson and Hemsworth worked together before in Thor: Ragnarok (and other Avengers movies), but their chemistry is somehow lacking in Men in Black: International. Once Thompson's Agent M achieves her dream, she doesn't seem to have anywhere to go but sideways, and Hemsworth just isn't as charming as he usually is (his character is going through something; he's muted and said to be "acting differently"). And the story they've been given is disappointingly routine, with dull villains and a "surprise" reveal that's all too easy to spot.

The original Men in Black was constantly surprising, since the aliens hid themselves on Earth in clever and unexpected ways; it was also very funny, thanks to Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones' expert-level banter -- not to mention the film's comically nonchalant attitude toward danger. Men in Black: International is more about scary bad guys, cool cars, and explosive weapons than it is about fun aliens or the suit-wearing heroes getting to know each other. It's too busy plowing through its plot to come up with any moments of delight or humanity that really resonate. The cast is still likable, and the movie looks good, but it just needed more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Men in Black: International's violence. How did it make you feel? How much of it consists of special effects? Does the impact of movie violence change based on how realistic it is?

  • How does Agent M demonstrate perseverance? Is she a role model? What does it mean to have a woman of color as a lead character in a Hollywood movie like this? Why does representation matter in the media?

  • Is the movie scary? Does knowing the aliens aren't real make them less scary?

  • How does MIB: International compare to the other movies in the series? To the comics or the TV series?

  • How do the characters show the value of teamwork? Why is that an important character strength?

Movie details

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