Barry Sonnenfeld (born April 1, 1953) is an American filmmaker and television director. He worked as cinematographer for the Coen Brothers, then later he directed and produced big budget films such as Men in Black.
Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City, the son of Kelly, an art teacher, and Sonny Sonnenfeld. He graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water (1982). Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple (1985). This film began his collaboration with the Coen Bros., who used him for their next two pictures, Raising Arizona (1987) and Miller's Crossing (1990). He also worked with Danny DeVito on Throw Momma from the Train (1987) and Rob Reiner on When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Misery (1990).
Sonnenfeld gained his first work as a director from Orion Pictures on The Addams Family, a box-office success released in November 1991. Its sequel, Addams Family Values (1993), was not as successful at the box office, but he received critical acclaim for his fourth directorial outing, Get Shorty (1995). Produced by Jersey Films and based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, the film won a Golden Globe for John Travolta (Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical). In 1996 Steven Spielberg asked him to direct Men in Black (1997). Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, the movie was a critical and financial smash. Producer Jon Peters then asked Sonnenfeld to direct Wild Wild West (1999), an adaptation of an old TV series. Wild Wild West was an expensive flop. He also directed the comedy Big Trouble (2002), after which he made his most successful film sequel, Men in Black II (2002). He is also a contributing editor for Esquire magazine. He also co-produced the 2007 film Enchanted for Disney that starred Amy Adams. In 2008, Sonnenfeld earned an Emmy for directing Pushing Daisies. On 21 April 2010 was confirmed that Sonnenfeld return for Men in Black III with lead actors from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.