Box art for Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go

comedy, drama

Will Ferrell shines (Detroit News) as Nick, a career salesman who loses his wife and his job in the worst day of his life. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the lineor, rather, on the lawn.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Smart, poignant dramedy puts alcoholism front and center.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this moving drama, based on a short story by Raymond Carver, is far from the usual broad comedies that star Will Ferrell is known for. Though inflected with humor, it's a serious and sobering (no pun intended) movie about a man slipping over the brink of life -- giving in to his alcoholism and losing his marriage and all his belongings. There's some swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k"), a few brief sexually charged scenes (with partial nudity and kink), and loads and loads of drinking (the lead character is an alcoholic, after all).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie presents addiction. Is there any glamour here? What are the consequences of Nick's drinking?
  • What can viewers learn from Nick's predicament and his response to it?
  • Why do you think Ferrell would choose to make a movie like this? Do you think he's trying to appeal to his usual fan base?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Rush extrapolates a narrative that is less jarring and more familiar than anything in Carver, but nonetheless true to the writer's tough, compassionate and intimately knowing apprehension of masculine defeat.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fresh: No great epiphanies, just a few days, a little perspective, nicely told.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fresh: Will Ferrell is evolving as an artist. Welcome to his blue period.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, May 12, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

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 Pea) 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.

- MrMarakai, Thursday, December 6, 2012

2 stars

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.

- fb619846742, Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3 stars

Interesting idea, but dragged out too much. Very serious role for Will Ferell. He pulls it off well, but story is too slight for its running time.

- romy861, Saturday, May 26, 2012