'How to Eat Fried Worms'

From the studio that brought you Snakes on a Plane comes this equally stomach-churning (in the best sense) adaptation of Thomas Rockwell's beloved young adult novel, with its evergreen message about the struggle to fit in and the danger of judging books by their covers. Worms is the story of one Billy Forrester (Luke Benward)—the proverbial new kid on the block—and how his newness is sniffed out by the schoolyard bully, who challenges Billy to a creepy-crawly test of prepubescent manhood: eat 10 worms, cooked in inventively disgusting manners, in a single day. From there, writer-director Bob Dolman (The Banger Sisters) kicks things into gross-out-slapstick overdrive, and the movie is so cheerfully crude that you begin to wonder if it wasn't just made for fifth graders, but by them as well. That's a compliment, of course: Worms is a rare kiddie flick that successfully adopts a child's-eye view, where nothing carries more importance than the saving of playground face and where parents are as distant and clueless as storybook giants.

 
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