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Everything Must Go (2011)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 97 | Rotten: 33

It may not improve on the Raymond Carver short story that inspired it, but Everything Must Go resists cliche and boasts a pair of magnetic performances from the perfectly cast Ferrell and Wallace.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 8

It may not improve on the Raymond Carver short story that inspired it, but Everything Must Go resists cliche and boasts a pair of magnetic performances from the perfectly cast Ferrell and Wallace.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 20,231

My Rating

Movie Info

Adapted and directed by Dan Rush, and based on a short story by Raymond Carver, Everything Must Go tells the story of Nick (Will Ferrell) a career salesman whose days of being on top are long gone. The same day Nick gets fired, for falling off the wagon one last time, he returns home to discover his wife has left him, changed the locks on their suburban home and dumped all his possessions out on the front yard. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the line - or more properly, on


Drama, Comedy

Sep 6, 2011


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All Critics (130) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (33) | DVD (3)

The unlikely combination of Will Ferrell and author Raymond Carver pays off beautifully.

May 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I was not waiting for a punch line. I was not primed to laugh. I accepted Ferrell as Nick and, because of that, I was able to enjoy Everything Must Go on its own terms.

May 15, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comments (4)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This isn't Ferrell's first dramatic role; he played seriocomic leading men in Stranger Than Fiction and Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda. But it's the first one that provides a glimpse at his possible future as a Bill Murray-style character actor.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rush draws on the intense attachment we can feel for the mundane objects in our lives. For Nick, these things are talismans from a past that promised a lot more than it delivered.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, Everything Must Go is something of a consciously static study in sadness, both well-made and wearying.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Taking stock and letting go -- of superfluous things, of worn-out love -- is a strong theme. But the progression of the script is like Nick's self-help program. We're familiar with the steps.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gratifying story with a quietly powerful performance from funnyman Will Ferrell.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Has a similar problem to its protagonist: It just sort of sits there.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

Good performances by Ferrell and Wallace and fantastic cinematography make Everything Must Go an enjoyable watch.

March 13, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The best movie Will Ferrell ever made

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Gentle understatement that stealthily but surely gets under the skin and touches the heart.

February 4, 2012 Full Review Source:

Everything Must Go is a pleasantly engaging, entertaining human portrait - a journey that doesn't physically stray very far, but which treads a million metaphorical miles within its main character as he attempts to go from broken man to redeemed man.

January 2, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

For a film that preaches giving it all away, Everything Must Go could have done with being a little more bold.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Cue self pity, followed by despair, followed by resignation, hope and redemption...Screenwriter/director Dan Rush...opts for this standard redemption arc.

October 16, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

I found this a delicately observed, satisfying movie and greatly enjoyed it.

October 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Ferrell is far more impressive in a straighter role ... as he controls his own brand of zaniness and channels it as bittersweet irony and humour into ordinary events.

October 16, 2011 Full Review Source:

The laughs are gentle, Nick is a pleasingly ambiguous character and the anti-materialism message is admirable.

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

A well-controlled film with a portrait at its centre that is astonishingly complete.

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London | Comment (1)
This is London

It may stray into a few redundant subplots along the way but Everything Must Go succeeds as a plaintive portrait of a man cast adrift from all the past certainties of his life.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Too insubstantial to be a full-length feature.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

A pleasing, satisfying chamber-piece.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Like a bad date; it's attractive, clever, but lacks a sense of humour.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Comments (4)
Little White Lies

It can't escape the crippling clichés of similar films that have come before it, and there are far too many Cameron Crowe-ian platitudes littered throughout the screenplay to remind us that we are indeed watching a movie.

September 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Everything here's too indie-sanitized to even be properly sad. It certainly isn't funny.

August 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

The individual performances are solid and Ferrell clearly has dramatic chops. Somehow, though, it turns out to be less than the sum of its parts.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Will Ferrell isn't stunt casting--his size and deadpan are essential to the character.

July 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

Audience Reviews for Everything Must Go

three stars
April 9, 2014
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

It is refreshing and welcome to see Will Ferrell in a serious role, he's quite capable and should try it more often. Raymond Carver's short story reads better I have to say but Everything Must Go only just misses the mark. There are just too many distractions to the story at hand and when the story does get back on track, not very much happens.
November 7, 2013

Super Reviewer

Anyone that's been reading my reviews for any length of time will be aware of my dislike for the humour of Will Ferrell. Don't get wrong, I've enjoyed some films of his: "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Elf" are a couple but for the most part his humour just doesn't work for me. Thankfully, this is Ferrell minus his funny bone and as he plays it straight, he delivers some impressive work.
Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) is fired from his sales job for his reliance on alcohol. When he returns home, he finds that his wife has left him, locked him out of the house and left all his belongings on the front lawn. He refuses to accept this though and decides to camp out in his chair and drink beer for days on end. As this is not legal, his cop friend and AA sponsor (Michael Peña) suggests that he pretends to be having a yard sale to buy him some time. Not before long, Nick starts to makes friends with the neighbours who help him sell his stuff.
The problem with this film isn't Ferrell as I'd expected it to be. The problem with this film is that the material doesn't stretch far enough. It's based on the short story "Why Don't You Dance?" by Raymond Carver who was responsible for the serious of vignettes that made up Robert Altman's magnificent film "Short Cuts". Where Altman got it right though, was in keeping all the segments little tales of their own and never fleshed them out too far. This had been a short story for a reason; there just isn't enough material to cover the ground of a 90 minute feature - and it's shows. Despite a series of very good moments and the struggle and believable, emotional downfall of the protagonist, it has a series of lulls which just felt like padding. As a result the dramatic weight is lessened and your concentration begins to waver. That being said, there is still plenty to admire here and that mainly comes in the form of Ferrell, who flexes his acting chops in a more serious role than audiences will be used to. I'm not normally a fan of his brand of comedy but as a dramatic actor he's actually quite good. Unfortunately, for him though, the whole film rests on his shoulders; most of the other characters are secondary with Laura Dern, particularly wasted, in a thankless bit-part. However, the theme of a downward spiralling individual forced to confront his past - and his addictive problems - is reflected well, in the coveting of material objects and their relevance to a person as a whole.
More of a tragi-comedy with the emphasis on the former. It has serious moments of lethargy but worth watching for it's metaphoric approach to life and to see Ferrell command the screen with depth, in a rare dramatic role.
December 6, 2012

Super Reviewer

An underwhelming, disappointing exercise in materialism and alcohol addiction concerning a recently fired salesman (Will Ferrell) who must deal with the fact that his wife has left him and locked him out of his house, leaving all of his belongings on his front yard. What could have been an intriguing film concerning excess and how one can find happiness in minimalism is wasted on a movie that does not desire to go any deeper than surface level cliches and a couple forced subplots that do not ring true. Ferrell, who has dabbled in dramedy before with "Stranger Than Fiction", is surprisingly dull and unconvincing, turning in arguably the worst performance of his career. The movie is not terrible, but it certainly is not good, as it starts out promising but soon becomes a tedious bore that is not interested into delving into anything remotely interesting besides the complete obvious.
May 29, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Nick Halsey: Yesterday..what happend? I got fired from my job and my wife left me, so somehow calling you slipped my mind.
    – Submitted by Bryan P (21 months ago)
    1. Nick Halsey: Hi, are you in there?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Nick Halsey: I'v given 16 years of my life to this company.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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