Yes, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Disney) is too long and too cliffhanger-y, and it presumes that its audience has not merely seen the first film in the series, but has absorbed every nuance. Still, the movie is funny and exciting, and way more purposeful with its endlessly branching plot paths than its predecessor. Director Gore Verbinski builds up a few setpieces that are riotous as any this year, most notably a sword fight on a water-wheel that gains a new gag at every turn…

The most idiosyncratic and flavorful of the summer blockbusters, Michael Mann's Miami Vice (Universal) goes to almost perverse lengths to sidestep the glossy superficiality of the TV series, instead providing an unexpectedly gritty mood piece without a hint of '80s nostalgia. Mann's radical experimentation with video will likely translate well to the small screen, and his "unrated cut" reportedly sets up the action a little more clearly…

The virtues of binge drinking are celebrated with appropriate raucousness in Broken Lizard's Beerfest (Warner Bros.), an underrated frat-guy comedy that separates itself from the lowbrow pack through an unhinged sense of absurdity. For a movie about an international beer-guzzling competition, it's ridiculously overlong at nearly two hours, but how much could you hold against a film in which Jürgen Prochnow and Mo'Nique wind up French-kissing? You just don't see that every day…

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OutKast's reputation for quality took a big hit with Idlewild (HBO), a hopelessly muddled period hip-hop musical. Writer-director Bryan Barber has so little confidence in Andre 3000 and Big Boi's shockingly half-assed and disappointing soundtrack that he dips back into the superstar duo's much better received double-disc opus Speakerboxxxx/The Love Below for several of the movie's biggest production numbers, and with good reason: The new songs kinda suck…

The film adaptation of Thomas Rockwell's kid-lit classic How To Eat Fried Worms (New Line) doesn't take much from the book except the title and the idea of eating worms on a bet, but while it's a poor adaptation, it's a refreshingly uncalculated children's movie. The kid cast runs amuck, delighting in the gross-out factor of forcing the new kid in town to eat increasingly disgusting wormy concoctions, but they actually seem like children on a lark, instead of the usual precocious little Hollywood robots.