Everything Must Go (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: 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.

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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 the lawn - reluctantly holding a yard sale that becomes a unique strategy for survival. -- (C) Roadside Attractions
Rating:
R (for language and some sexual content)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Box Office:
$2,711,210.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Will Ferrell
as Nick Porter
Laura Dern
as Delilah
Michael Peña
as Frank Garcia
Stephen Root
as Elliot
Rebecca Hall
as Samantha
Jason Spisak
as Hipster
Todd Bryant
as Driver (Repo Guy)
Chris Cook
as Samantha's Husband
Lance Gray
as Blender Guy
Tyler Johnstone
as Big Teenager
Kyle Sharkey
as Lanky Teenager
Scott Takeda
as Bank Manager
Matthew Dearing
as Jacket Buyer
Leeann Dearing
as Girlfriend
Steven Scally
as Fisherman
Narinder Singh
as Liquor Store Clerk
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Critic Reviews for Everything Must Go

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (39)

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

May 19, 2011
Miami Herald
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 15, 2011
ReelViews
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Slate
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Detroit News
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Everything Must Go

½

three stars

MisterYoda ?
MisterYoda ?

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.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

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.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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