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Rewards for the Serious Moviegoer
Jim Beller19 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is not a movie for the masses. Will Ferrell fans who liked Melinda and Melinda and Stranger Than Fiction will not be surprised by his performance as Nick Halsey in this movie. He does comedy so well, many of his devoted fans may not realize that he is a good dramatic actor as well.

Ferrell's supporting actors, especially Christopher Jordan Wallace, are also very good. The story moves at a slow and deliberate pace which will bore all but serious moviegoers. However, the acting is excellent along the way, and in the end, the movie has synergy and leaves you with a positive feeling about Nick's future.

If you like deliberately paced independent films, go see this movie. It won't be around long.
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Steve Pulaski29 September 2011
Everything Must Go is probably Will Ferrell's first truly well done film in years. The Other Guys was pretty good, Step Brothers was funny in parts, but this one totally takes the cake for being a great drama, and schools anyone who thinks Will Ferrell can't do anything but comedy. Though I doubt fans of Old School will think highly of this.

The plot isn't too much, but it sustains a film. Will Ferrell is Nick Halsey, an alcoholic who has had one too many alcohol-related episodes and has finally lost his job. He returns home to find out his wife has changed all the locks on the house, and has moved all of his belongings to the front yard. Frustrated and hopeless, he decides to life on his front lawn, and make the best out of a horrible situation.

He spends his day sucking down Blue Ribbons beers, until he is met by a chubby adolescent named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace, the son of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.). Kenny's mom takes care of an elderly woman, leaving him free to roam the streets on his bike. Kenny and Nick strike up an odd, but warm relationship with each other and when Nick is informed by his AA sponsor (Pena) that he must move all his stuff off his lawn in three days, he works with Kenny to help them hold a big yard sale.

A sub-plot involves Nick getting acquainted with the woman across the street who has just moved to the neighborhood and is awaiting her husband's arrival. The relationship isn't as strong or as well-crafted as the relationship between Nick and Kenny, but it is still a solid one.

It's also noteworthy that we never see Nick's wife or the woman's husband anywhere in the film. We don't need to, though. The plot works fine without them, and I believe that if we saw Nick's wife in the film we'd get too many arguments between the two which may result in (a) believability being low and (b) a possibility for Ferrell's comedy side to sneak in. We don't need comedy here. We get it, but in tiny, miniscule doses. There is almost nothing funny about this situation.

Once again, this proves that Will Ferrell is a great character actor, and doesn't have to get drunk, shout his lines, or get in goofy fights to be successful. Unfortunately, Everything Must Go's overall performance wasn't impressive, and it may be a long time before Ferrell does something like this ever again.

Not everything here is perfect. The worst flaw is the ending because there is no emotional payoff, and nothing to make our experience anymore than just enjoyable. I wanted more than enjoyable. I haven't read the short story "Why Don't You Dance?" by Raymond Carver, so I'm not sure of any similarities both this and the story share. Everything Must Go is a good film in general, but a great film in terms of Ferrell, who is essentially putting on a one-man-show for more than half the film.

Starring: Will Ferrell, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Laura Dern, and Michael Pena. Directed by: Dan Rush.
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Everything Must Go is a well-made movie, but heavier than I was seeking
scotty_cable25 May 2011
I really enjoyed Stranger than Fiction and, since I had heard Will Ferrell's performance in that movie compared favorably to the one in Everything Must Go, was excited to see EMG. I walked away after seeing EMG a little unsure of whether I truly enjoyed the movie or just merely appreciated the quality of the director's vision and execution. Everything Must Go is the story of Nick Halsey (Ferrell), a struggling alcoholic who, in the first 10 minutes of the movie, has been laid of from his job and kicked out of his house by his wife, all within the same day. The rest of the movie looks at Halsey's attempt to manage the tension between wanting what he once had and trying to pursue a life that he desires, even though he isn't entirely sure of what that looks like. I will start by saying I thought the acting of everyone involved, especially Will Ferrell and Christopher Jordan Wallace, was superb and a highlight of the movie. I thought the music and visuals added significantly to the feel of the movie, especially how so much of the movie occurred in the front yard with the records of his father occasionally playing in the background. Now I knew to expect a story that was not a happy-go-lucky comedy (is there one about an alcoholic struggling with sobriety), but was hoping for some more lightheartedness. I did particularly enjoy watching the relationship between Nick Halsey and Wallace's "Kenny Loftus", and thought that the filmmakers did a good job pairing the two actors up. A couple of things with which I walked away: first, I found it interesting how the director decided to show Halsey's eventual growth in the way that he let go of certain things, and to whom he left them. Afterwards, a friend of mine and I discussed how difficult these acts would have been, but thought it appropriate for someone trying to move beyond such a serious issue as alcoholism. I also found it interesting that such a pivotal character, like Halsey's wife, has no screen time at all, save for her voice in one scene. It is as if the filmmakers want us to see how much damage one person has managed to do by simply stepping out of another's life. Overall, I do believe that the movie was well made, with an interesting story and fantastic acting, but the mood of the film was a little heavier than what I was looking for.
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A different role for Will Ferrell. A very good performance in a very good movie. Well worth watching. I say A
Tony Heck3 September 2011
"Good without the bad ain't no good at all." After Nick (Ferrell) gets fired from his job of 16 years he comes home to find his wife has changed the locks on his doors and all of his stuff is on the lawn. Thinking the best way to fix things is to stay at home Nick begins his new life, living outside. This is a very very good movie and a very different role for Will Ferrell. While not quite as good as Adam Sandler in "Reign Over Me", Ferrell still shows he has what it takes to be a good dramatic actor. There are a few funny parts in this but this is not a comedy. It's a drama with a lot of heart and while the movie is depressing at times it is a joy to watch. Ferrell does have some funny scenes with his own style of humor that adds to the character and watching him with the actor that plays Kenny is a treat. This is not a typical Will Ferrell movie, but being a huge fan I loved it and look forward to more roles like this from him. I highly recommend this. Overall, if you like Ferrell you will like this, if you don't give this a shot still. You may like the change. I give it an A.

Would I watch again? - I think I would.

*Also try - Barney's Version
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Will Ferrell has more range than Derek Jeter
ThreeGuysOneMovie5 September 2011
Will Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, who arrives home from being fired from his job to find all his belongings on his front lawn. Nick finds a note on his door from his wife letting him know that she has decided to leave him.

Rapt with despair Nick, who is a recovering alcoholic, starts drinking heavily and camps out on his front with all his possessions. Eventually, Nick befriends one of the kids in his neighborhood, and together they hold a yard sale on his front lawn to sell off everything that he owns.

This is really a story about hitting rock bottom and figuring out a way to start over again. Nick selling off all his belongings becomes cathartic for him as he lets go of his past.

Will Ferrell shows some excellent depth in this film. This was huge departure from his normal roles. He may not have nailed it but I admire the fact that he took so much risk with this role. The movie could worth checking out for that alone.

I really enjoyed Rebecca Hall as the next door neighbor that helps Nick on his path to redemption. She impressed me in Vicky Christina Barcelona and The Town and she does an excellent job on this film as well. I look forward to seeing some of the movies she has coming out next year.

This movie is far from perfect, The pacing is pretty slow, the ending is too abrupt and it lacked some of the emotional punch that it seemed to be striving for. It was an interesting watch however and its worth checking out.
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When All That's Left Is You
Chrysanthepop4 December 2011
Dan Rush's modestly paced 'Everything Must Go' pretty much takes a look at the worst day of Nick Halsey's life and the days that follow where he's left stranded in his lawn. The theme is quite refreshing but even though the movie is tagged a comedy, the humour here is very dry (it does draw a few chuckles) and it felt more like an intense human drama than a comedy. Halsey's situation is depressing and it really makes the viewer want to hate Catherine, even though, the writer tries to make the point that she was justified in treating him that way. But anyway, this is Halsey's story and perhaps to balance the intensity, Rush could have added more quirks. The pacing is quite slow at times but there was never a boring moment. I liked how the director and Ferrell depict Halsey's struggle with alcoholism. However, I felt that the story and characters (especially the supporting ones) could have been further developed. Will Ferrell is excellently restrained which makes Halsey all the more human and easier to relate to. Rebecca Hall is brilliant. Laura Dern has about one scene and she shows the viewer how one scene alone can make an actor stand out. Overall, I wouldn't recommend 'Everything Must Go' to those looking for a comedy. It is an intense humour drama about a man who once had everything and is now forced out of his house and how he struggles and attempts to deal with his problems one step at a time.
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Will Ferrell like you've never seen him before: Not kicking or screaming
estebangonzalez1025 October 2011
¨Do you know what the rate of success is for marriage when one person sobers up, but the other one doesn't?¨

Will Ferrell stars in this fantastic comedy slash drama, but this isn't the typical Ferrell comedy where we see him screaming all over the screen. This time he plays a quiet and sad alcoholic, and it's perhaps one of his best performances to date. Everything Must Go was a really pleasant surprise for me; it reminded me a lot of 2008's film The Visitor starring Richard Jenkins. Will Ferrell gives a very similar and quiet performance. Nothing really happens in the movie, but it's the relationship between the characters that carries the film to a higher ground. This is Dan Rush's first film as a director, and he really hits a home run with his debut film. He also adapted the screenplay from Raymond Carver's short story ¨Why Don't You Dance.¨ The dialogue in this movie is just great, and it really feels authentic. The actors also do a great job with the pauses; everything about this movie makes it fresh. The film is rather slow paced and focuses more on the drama and interactions between characters who end up bonding in unexpected ways. It also has very funny moments; although not the laugh out loud kind of humor, but more of a put a grind on your face kind of comedy. I didn't know Ferrell had it in him to give a performance of this caliber without relying on his usual loud mouth role. This is the sort of guy we can identify with, and whose life seems to be unraveling right in front of us. So much potential gone down the drain due to a small mistake.

Will Ferrell plays a Sales Executive named Nick Halsey who at the beginning of the film is being fired from his job due to his problems with alcohol. He was a great worker, and seemed to be recovering from his drinking problem, but recently had a relapse when he traveled to Denver and decided to have a few drinks to celebrate an important sale. Word got out to the office in Arizona and they decided it was time to let Nick go. Without a job, now Nick arrives home only to discover that all his things are laying in the front yard of his house and his wife has changed the locks of the doors. Apparently in Denver he also slept with another woman and now his wife has kicked him out of the house. Nick decides to stay in his front yard sitting on his reclining chair and has no intention of moving out. Someone makes a complain and the police come to arrest him for disturbing the peace in the neighborhood, but his friend, Detective Frank Garcia (Michael Peña), gets him a permit to stay in his front lawn for five days with the excuse that he is having a garage sale. During these days he befriends a young boy named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) who practically spends all day on his own. Nick hires him to help out with the sale and during that time they become friends. Nick teaches Kenny a thing or two about baseball. A new neighbor also has recently moved in the house in front of Nick's; she introduces herself as Samantha (Rebecca Hall) and says she's expecting a baby girl in a couple of months. Nick opens up to her about his problems and they being an interesting friendship.

Everything Must Go is a really interesting small film that will surely put a smile on your face as we see these authentic interactions between characters that probably under normal circumstances never would've befriended each other. The thing I enjoyed the most about this film was the realistic way in which each of these characters was portrayed; and the way the actors played them. Will Ferrell, Christopher Wallace, and Rebecca Hall (who I first came to love in Ben Affleck's flick The Town) all give great performances and the success of the film relies entirely on them. The movie isn't deep, it doesn't try to be preachy either; it just focuses on these small relationships and lets us now that it's never too late to start again. Will Ferrell should continue to accept interesting projects like this so he can prove that he is more than a one dimensional actor. I love his comedies, like Talladega Nights and Ron Burgundy, but it is great to see him in different roles as well proving he can be a serious actor as well. Director, Dan Rush took a huge risk by giving him the lead role, but the gamble paid off because he fit the role perfectly. This is a different kind of film, but I absolutely recommend it. I loved it.

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It's An Art Movie! Huck The Faters!
fandangonoir16 May 2011
Everything Must Go is an art movie. Maybe that wasn't the director's intention but that's how I'll classify it.

I give it 3 stars out of 4.

Just a very simple, and ultimately touching, story about a man who's life is falling apart and it is purely his own fault.

It is nice to see Will Ferrell ACT and not play his normal over the top persona in comedies.

This is a QUIET movie. Just a mellow ride with some humor, some drama, a pleasant setting, good cinematography and production values and interesting characters. One of the better films I've seen this year! I might even be tempted to give it 3 and 1/2 stars! It is like hanging out in a museum for the day or a quiet afternoon enjoying a good bottle of wine. Not something you'd want to do everyday but for an afternoon it is a nice diversion from the mad, mad, crazy world we live in.

And no, it is NOT a guilty pleasure. It is a good film but not for everyone. Somehow I think this might have worked better as a UK or French film.

I love a slam bang movie like Kick-Ass or Inglourious Basterds or Oldboy as much as the next cat. But this isn't that movie.

Like I said, it is a quiet art movie. Like The Music of Chance starring James Spader from back in the 90s.

Writer-director Dan Rush did a very good job. Especially since this is his FIRST film and first Internet Movie Database credit! It is almost like something Hal Hartley might have done but less quirky.
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Everything must progress, including Ferrell's acting range.
Hellmant2 August 2011
'EVERYTHING MUST GO': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Will Ferrell tries his hand at more serious comedy-drama again (after the likes of 2006's 'STRANGER THAN FICTION') with this tale of a relapsed alcoholic who loses his job and wife on the same day and resorts to living on his front lawn. It's based on the short story 'Why Don't You Dance' by Raymond Carver and is written and directed by first time filmmaker Dan Rush. It co-stars Rebecca Hall, Michael Pena, Stephen Root, Laura Dern and Christopher Jordan Wallace (the son of Faith Evans and the late rapper 'The Notorious B.I.G.') in his second film. The movie is funny as well as depressing and emotional. It's a nice step in Ferrell's career, for exploring broader range.

Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, an alcoholic who's recently fell off the wagon. As the film opens he's fired from his job for apparently having an affair with a new employee and then left by his wife for the same reason. He's also locked out of his home (after his wife changes the locks), with all of his belongings left on the front lawn. His credit cards have all been canceled as well and his company car is repossessed by his former employers. With no money and no place to go he decides to camp out on his front lawn with all his stuff. His neighbors complain of him being a public nuisance though and he's reported to the police. Thanks to city law his cop buddy Frank (Pena) is able to give him five days to hold a yard sale before he has to kick him off the property. While trying to sell his stuff Nick befriends a new neighbor across the street (Hall) and a local neighborhood kid (Wallace).

Like I said the movie is surprisingly dramatic for a Will Ferrell movie and he pulls off his performance impressively. The material isn't too much of a stretch for him given that it's still pretty comedic but it's definitely honest and set in reality (unlike the majority of his films, which are mostly slapstick) and there's some pretty hard hitting drama at times as well, especially towards the end. The movie still has a sizable amount of laughs though so traditional Ferrell fans shouldn't be disappointed. That's why the movie is the perfect step for Ferrell (to test out his range). A gigantic leap in to serious drama would be to sudden and the film works perfectly as is. A smart move for Ferrell and a decent film results because of it.

Watch our review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEq_X_axUaU
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A Wonderful Example of Ferrell's Acting Ability
asam312224 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Everything Must Go" is a wonderful film. Taken from a short story by Raymond Carver, it is a simple idea, but richly textured so the viewer must look under the layers of simplicity for the story to open up. The short story is only a few pages long and it is very simple on the surface. The writing is sparse, but it still makes you think and this idea goes into the film as well.

Will Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, the ex-Vice President of a Regional Sales Office. We catch him on his last day of work, downing a flask and reminiscing on the meeting where he was recently terminated after falling off the wagon one too many times. After getting beer, Nick arrives home to see all of his stuff in his front yard and the locks changed. His credit cards and bank account are frozen and he's left with the money on his wallet and the stuff on his lawn.

Ferrell gives a very wonderfully subtle performance. Carver would be proud. It seems to me that the main complaint that people have voiced with this film was that there was no big payoff. I disagree. I think there was a big payoff, just not in the sense that there was this huge change in the character. The change is subtle, but it is there. Ferrell goes back to his dramatic abilities to show us the story of a man in crisis, struggling to get out and he does it well. My fear is that this movie will be misunderstood by fans of Ferrell's comedy.

It is a depressing movie, but it is a simple story of finding hope as well with comedy sprinkled throughout. My advice would be to give it a chance and be rewarded by seeing Ferrell's abilities.
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Will Ferrell Deserves an Oscar
schuster_mark28 November 2015
OK, maybe not an Oscar, but definitely some kind of recognition for the performance he gave in this movie. I'll be honest, when I chose this off my streaming service, I was a little hesitant. After all, Ferrell is known for his raucous humor (which I enjoy), but having seen previous reviews for this film - I knew it wasn't "Anchor Man" material. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Depth, great acting (by most, if not all of the cast), impeccably well placed music - and a story that most everyone can relate to.

This is well worth the 90 mins or so if you have it. Proving once again that comedians can, and do, provide some of the most incredible dramatic performances on film (e.g. Robin Williams, "Good Will Hunting").
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An excellent performance by Will Ferrel
Clarke23 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't disagree more with the idea that this is a contrived movie with a pointless main character. Will Ferrel plays a man that is flawed, cynical, and coping with alcoholism-- in my opinion, somebody incredibly human.

To the previous reviewer who says things like: "There are a few chuckles, but how is this guy not smart enough to be sleeping in his front yard and forget that he has sprinklers in the front yard. .... not once, but twice." ... The man is drunk for somewhere near 100% of the time he is on his lawn. If you pass out drunk, you're not making plans to deal with sprinklers in the morning.

Anyway, Will Ferrel is excellent. The humor in the this movie is all Ferrel's timing and countenance as he copes with everything that has happened so suddenly in his life. He shines during the characters most vulnerable moments, like when he wakes in a cold sweat in complete panic because he is out of alcohol, and his desperation in trying to get beer on credit from the liquor store. His reaction to and ability to cope with constant traumatic discovers makes this movie an interesting/engaging experience.
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Ferrell acquits himself in this fine dramedy
george.schmidt1 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
EVERYTHING MUST GO (2011) *** Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Michael Pena, Laura Dern, Stephen Root, Christopher Jordan Wallace. Ferrell stars as a downward spiraling drunk who has his worst day yet: after being unceremoniously fired from his corporate job he finds his wife has thrown all his worldly possessions out onto their front lawn and locked him out of their home – forcing him to sober up in more ways than one. Based loosely on Raymond Carver's short story "Why Don't You Dance?" newbie filmmaker Dan Rush fleshes out the bare bones storyline by incorporating new characters to interface with Ferrell and the fine cast lends able support to his better-than-expected dramatic turn (shrewdly low-key but humorous as well) that works for what it's worth as a decent dramedy.
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Absolutely absurd from the word go.
Rockwell_Cronenberg18 August 2011
I think that Will Ferrell is one of those actors that can do a pretty solid job of mixing comedy with drama, and I like when he plays human characters. Unfortunately here he is stuck in a movie that pretends to be this grounded character drama about a broken man who's lost everything, while it's actually just an absurd story that doesn't fit into any real context and meanders along until it thankfully comes to it's disastrous end. The film has a setup that I just couldn't get into at all. Based on a short story by Raymond Carver, Ferrell's Nick Halsey gets fired in the opening scene and then goes home to find out that his wife put all of his things on the lawn and changed the locks on the door. Halsey constantly makes a point of mentioning that he owns the house, so why doesn't he just call the police and have them let him in? Seems pretty simple. Even more simple given that his wife just isn't there anymore; why would she bother changing the locks and throwing his things on the lawn if she was just leaving? So right off the bat I wasn't on good terms with this one.

However, I can get past a rocky setup. Earlier this year, Hesher had a pitch that I didn't buy whatsoever, but it still managed to impress me with a strong character study and excellent performances. Everything Must Go, on the other hand, offers no redeeming qualities. After the ridiculous setup, we're loaded with scene after scene of painfully contrived moments that would just never happen. Rebecca Hall plays the clichéd stranger that randomly decides to become friends with the man who is living on his lawn drinking all day. Yeah, every pregnant woman does that. Christopher Jordan Wallace comes along as the young kid who needs a mentor and finds it in the creepy adult with no friends, one of the most idiotic clichés in film. There's a whole ten minute scene with Laura Dern's character that is of no consequence to the rest of the film, adds nothing to the character and is clearly there as filler to get the movie to a decent running time. It's just scene after scene of absurd moves that no one with half a brain could watch with any sense of genuine believability all led by a performance from Ferrell that couldn't have been more lazy and lifeless if he tried. A dreadful picture with absolutely nothing going for it.
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Notorious S.A.D.
David Ferguson17 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. Seeing this film back-to-back with Mel Gibson's "The Beaver" was a mistake. Following up manic depression with severe alcoholism and mild depression is just a bit too much weight in such a short time. But I guess that's the point of this one. Will Ferrell stars as Nick who loses his job, punctures his boss' tire, and finds out his wife not only left him, but also locked him out of the house with all his belongings in the front yard. That's in the first 8 minutes of the film.

Ferrell proceeds to get drunk ... while sitting in his Lazy Boy in the front yard. He clearly has hit bottom and shows no signs of recovering. At least not until he partners with a lonely, young, bike riding boy named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace, son of Notorious B.I.G.). This partnership consists of Kenny doing most of the work for the yard sale while Ferrell sleeps and drinks.

Rebecca Hall plays a pregnant woman who is moving in across the street. "What kind of man makes his wife move across country alone?". That's the question Ferrell asks Hall ... and along with the viewer, these two characters understand the answer would be a man just like Ferrell.

What I like about the film is that there are numerous signs of real human emotion throughout, yet none of the main characters overplays their part. If you are unaccustomed to seeing Mr. Ferrell in anything but slapstick comedies, I encourage you to see "Stranger Than Fiction". He really does have dramatic acting skills on top of his amazing comedic talent.

The film comes from first time director Dan Rush and short story writer-extraordinaire Raymond Carver. The script does capture much of the emotion that goes with feeling rejected and searching for numbness in a bottle ... or in this case, a Pabst beer can. Supporting work from Stephen Root, Laura Dern and Michael Pena are solid, but the best scenes are between Ferrell, Wallace and Hall. Don't show up expecting to laugh much. This is a serio-drama that makes you think ... there but for the grace of God ...
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A mediocre film lacking the key ingredients to make it memorable
chrismsawin14 May 2011
I've always considered Will Ferrell's work to be somewhat of a guilty pleasure. Complaints of his comedy being stupid, childish and ridiculously over the top are completely justified, but most of it has still been relatively entertaining. His cameos are usually a bit stronger since they're right to the point and aren't force-fed to you like some of his leading roles, but films like Old School and Anchorman will always hold a special place in my heart for the kid in me that loves that nonsensical form of comedy. The few times Ferrell has ventured off into more serious territory have been pleasantly surprising. Stranger Than Fiction is probably the best example. While Ferrell's performance in the Marc Forster directed comedic drama was one of his best and the film had moments of brilliance, but it wasn't quite able to push itself into exceptionally memorable territory. Unfortunately, Everything Must Go is along the same lines.

Nick Halsey (Ferrell) is having the worst day anyone could possibly have. He loses his well-paying job of 16 years and falls off the wagon after being sober for six months. Upon returning home, he finds all of the locks and gate codes changed, a letter from his wife telling him that it's over, and all of his belongings sitting on the front lawn. If that wasn't bad enough, Nick's credit cards no longer work and he's blocked from using his joint bank account. He becomes overly possessive of, "his stuff," and has no plans of ever leaving his front lawn. Detective Frank Garcia (Michael Peña), who is also Nick's AA sponsor, eventually steps in and informs Nick that a yard sale could buy him a few days before he'd eventually have to take Nick to jail. With the help of a neighborhood kid named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) whose mom is never around and a pregnant woman who just moved across the street named Samantha (Rebecca Hall), Nick eventually learns the meaning of letting go and moving on with his life.

There's a good film lying within the inner depths of Everything Must Go, but all of the decent aspects of the film feel underdeveloped and don't really have the chance to really blossom into strong characteristics or qualities to make the film great. The humor in the film is incredibly dry. Everything Must Go has a slight Lars and the Real Girl kind of feel to it without the awkwardness or strong performances to make it memorable. There are brief moments that attempt to tug at your heart strings, but it's like it all lacks follow-through. All the right elements are there, but just aren't utilized to their full potential. Most of the performances feel kind of bland. Both Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall show shades of actually being able to portray some emotion, but just when something starts feeling like it's building to a memorable scene they fall back into ho-hum territory.

Everything Must Go isn't a happy film in the least. Nick Halsey literally has the worst week anyone could possibly imagine and just when things start to look up, he gets hit with something else. I guess the film is trying to tell you to take everything in stride, one step at a time, just deal with what life throws at you the best you can, ends lead to new beginnings, but it kind of felt like there wasn't the proper balance of hope as well. There are a few notions made that seem to hint at Nick making it through this and being a better person in the long run, but the journey in the meantime will probably leave you feeling pretty depressed.

Everything Must Go is a decent comedic drama that offers mediocrity from all sides. The most interesting aspect of the film is its premise, which the film is never fully able to capitalize on. The humor provided is more of the chuckling lightly variety instead of actually laughing out loud and everyone in the film seems to pretty much be playing the same character that's incapable of showing the actual spectrum of emotions. Everything Must Go is fairly disappointing at the end of the day, but not necessarily overly good or bad in the long run.
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Will Ferrell Shows Some Versatility, But The Story Has No Real Point Or Conclusion
sddavis636 July 2013
The first thing to know about this movie is that it's not your typical Will Ferrell comedy. It's not outrageously funny; it's not ridiculously silly. Truthfully, in spite of the comedy/drama label, it's not really a comedy at all. This probably just could have been called a drama. This is downcast, sombre and even sad almost from the first moment. It makes the point that Ferrell can offer an effective performance without having to be outrageous (much as "Reign On Me" made that point for Adam Sandler.) And he was effective in this.

His character is Nick Halsey. Nick is a regional vice president of sales for a major corporation of some sort, but he has lots of problems - especially the fact that he's an alcoholic; a problem that's been with him for a long time. As the movie opens, it finally comes to an end for Nick. The company is tired of him. It's not that he's unsuccessful at what he does - they're just tired of him and his antics, and he gets fired. Then, when he arrives home, he discovers his wife is gone, she's changed the locks on the house, and thrown all of his possessions on the front lawn. With nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, Nick takes up residence in the front yard, finally organizing a giant lawn sale just to get rid of everything.

Basically that's the story, and the story is the biggest weakness of the movie. This doesn't really go anywhere, it never leads to anything, there's absolutely no closure in how it ends. It basically revolves around the relationships Nick develops with a new neighbour (Samantha, played by Rebecca Hall) who's having some problems of her own and seems to find in Nick a sort of kindred spirit, and with Kenny (Christopher C.J. Wallace) - a local overweight teenager who doesn't really fit in and who helps Nick with the yard sale. The development of those relationships moves the story forward ever so slowly, but as I said it moves slowly forward to no real destination. And by the time this ends you even wonder about those relationships. Did they mean very much? Will they be lasting? And I was lost by the need to involve Laura Dern as one of Nick's former high school classmates. That whole interplay really offered little, except noting that Nick has a big heart. That surely could have been done without the need to introduce a totally extraneous character into the mix.

I liked Ferrell in this. He's not the one dimensional actor he sometimes appears to be. The fact that this offered him a vehicle to show that in a low-key and sombre role makes it worthwhile, I suppose, but it doesn't overcome the terribly heavy and ultimately unresolved plot. (5/10)
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Some Good and Some Bad Things. Mediocre Overall
drpakmanrains22 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
First the good things: Will Ferrell did a respectable job portraying a man at his wits end descending into full blown alcoholism as he lives on his front lawn after losing his job. His relationship to "Kenny", his African-American neighbor teen was very well done. His awkward searching out and finding his high-school crush played by Laura Dern was moving.

Now the bad things: The pacing was slow and languid. The comedy that was implied in the trailer was minimal, giving the film a mostly depressing feel that made its 1:37 minutes seem longer. The plot lines never seemed to go very far or deep, probably to reflect his own depression. Finally, the ending, while hopeful, might have benefited with going just a bit further, or perhaps in a different direction with Laura Dern's character.

Conclusion: Unlike some reviewers who raved, I think the box office tells you whether it was really a "masterpiece" or worth a 10 rating. But while others called it a disaster, I doubt most viewers would feel that negative, as its problem was that interesting plot lines, while plenty, were just not explored or developed enough, making the overall feeling slow and somewhat depressing, rather than enjoyable, as even the most serious movie should aim to be.

Hence: Not good but not bad. So-so, thus a 5 out of 10.
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How much for your stuff?
tieman642 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Until I started reading these reviews of my work, praising me, I never felt the people I was writing about were so bad off...the waitress, the bus driver, the mechanic. God, the country is filled with these people. They're good people." - Raymond Carver

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation." - Henry Thoreau

In Raymond Carver's short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" a group of adults sit around a table and talk about love. Eventually it becomes apparent that each character has a different definition of "love", and that none of the characters can really express what "love is". Ultimately they agree to disagree. This tale encapsulates the overriding thrust of Carver's work. Though he is renowned for revitalising the short story format, one point of your typical Carver short-story is that each particular tale is but part of a larger compilation, the world made up of a seemingly infinite number of clashing and differing subjective perspectives. Director Robert Altman recognised this with "Short Cuts". Rather than adapt a single Carver story he adapted at least nine (including some of Carver's poems), and then loosely tied them all together. Carver's collections function in the same way, dipping in and out of wildly differing windows, households, families and lives.

"Everything Must Go", directed by Dan Rush, is an adaptation of a single Carver story, "Why Don't You Dance?". While it lacks the state-wide scope of "Short Cuts" - it focuses on just one man, one little suburban square – it nevertheless captures Carver's voice, style and interest in simple, seemingly slight, domestic drama. There's a touch of Hemingway here too. While some of Carver's early work parodied Hemingway, he eventually grew into one of the writer's successors (though Carter's prose dispenses with the romantic egoism of Hemingway), with his blunt minimalism, distinct cadence (a result of word-stingy editor Gordon Lish), idyllic wildernesses, themes of depression and alienation, and his knack for first sentence hooks. In the case of "Everything Must Go", the hook is that alcoholic Nick Halsey, played here by comedian Will Ferrell, has suddenly been fired from his job. To make matters worse, Nick returns home to learn that his wife has left him, locked him out of their house, moved to a different state and scattered all his belongings out on their home's front lawn. Flabbergasted, Nick camps outside his home, surrounded by his furniture and various other objects, clothes, possessions and trinkets.

The film captures well Carver's particular brand of symbolism. Nick's failed marriage is mirrored to a newlywed couple across the street, and Nick's front lawn becomes a wasteland of discarded memories; a wreckage strewn past. Nick is also literally caught in a kind of stasis, stuck between a failed job and home-life, and we see how alcohol, art (music/cameras etc) and consumer trinkets serve only to assuage or cover up deep regrets, disappointment and unhappiness. "You need to put up some curtains," Nick tells neighbour Samantha. "Why? So I don't have some drunk staring at me all day?" she asks. "No," he replies, "so you don't have to look at your future." The banality of post 1960s, red, white and blue collar America was a Carver obsession, but here these things are treated very literally. "You're all as screwed up as me," Nick yells from his front lawn, "but you get to hide in your houses while I'm out here!" Nick functions as a symbol for every man caught in late-capitalism's ceaseless double helix.

Carver's characters typically seem tired and world weary, spending all their time on the sofa watching TV or hauling their bodies to and from offices. Nick's found himself temporarily dislocated from this treadmill. He tries to turn his back on yesterday's baggage, bonding with a woman across the street and hooking up with an old college class mate (Laura Dern in a cute little role), but is ultimately left without solutions. The film then ends with a cover of Dylan's "I Shall Be Released", a song which perhaps belies Nick's true future.

The film is unconventionally relaxed, lazy and unhurried – like sitting on a rocking chair in the middle of a cool breeze - and is quite different from Carver's six page short, which was nevertheless also about being liberated, perhaps to the point of insanity, from objects, duty, even marital responsibilities. Rush's film is better, but he's still too small an artists to recognise the radical connotations of this tale's title. Everything Must Go, but there are no wrecking balls here. Nick recruits a young black kid as a salesman, makes a buck selling his stuff, and thanks the heavens that his alcoholism was movie-alcoholism. You know, the kind that leads to redemption, wisdom and Zen-calm. The film's ending, while not necessarily "happy", is wrong to force closure upon an ongoing historical process.

Ironically, Joseph Urgo once identified the short story itself as a "capitalist art-form of a particular sort", in that it "is managerial, must be completed within certain spatial confines and mirrors an imperative of its cultural context". The short story is "like a well-managed operation," Urgo said, "one that functions like clockwork, without a hitch, the genre's demands for efficiency of form, cohesiveness, and economy of scale parallelling the demands of managerial capitalism." If a tightly written short enacts the very same sense of what is good and what is valuable as does the efficiently run textile mill or factory, how much do the confines of movie formula prevent Nick's climax from going more interesting places?

8.5/10 – Great mood, let down by occasional Hollywood schmaltz and several cartoonish stereotypes. Worth two viewings.
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Very good
ninokaric22 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Very interesting movie. It shows how life can really put you down. I am glad that nothing positive happened at the end, like he get his job back and find new woman and etc etc, real life story that could happen to everyone. Its maybe little depressing to watch, at one point I even thought when will be the end, but eventually you somehow connect with main character and you want to see what will happened. I think that any person who has experienced difficulties in life will like this movie. In my opinion, this movie is worth watching, it definitely would not be a waste of time. At least you can enjoy watching Will Ferrell acting outside of comedy movies.
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this movie was depressing
erin stokes18 September 2011
when critics call this movie a comedy there being more than generous, they're flat out lying. this movie was terrible, my aunt and i rented this expecting a comedy but it was far from it. Even the previews give you a different feel, i assumed it would be a guy trying to get back on his feet in the hilarious awkward way will ferrel does things, but he mostly sat around and got wasted. Also the whole movie is depressing and you expect it to get better somewhat near the end...nope it just continually got worse and worse until they decided to roll the credits. in my opinion movies are supposed to take you away from reality not show you the very worst side of it. anyways i don't suggest seeing this movie.
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Flat, Plain Flat
Mr_Sensitive16 October 2011
For the past couple of week I was lucky enough to be able to choose the right (the good) movie to watch, my expectation was high for this week. Well, I guess my good run end with this movie. It not that bad but I find it utterly pointless movie.

Story of a man having a bad days, first he got fired from his job, then got thrown out of his house, his wife deactivate his bank account. All he has left is his old belonging that was thrown out into the front lawn. So like the name of the movie have already imply - it is about letting go of everything and start a new life

The story is nothing new, in fact it is so old it was too predictable. The sad part was it doesn't really get any better than what you had already seen. What I hate about it was it also very depressing and a very (too) typical Hollywood low budget Black Comedy Drama.

I didn't quite enjoy the movie at all. The casting of Will might be the best move the director for this movie. Without Will this would have been straight to VDO store and maybe left there totally untouched.

The good thing about this movie is – I will likely don't remember I have even watched it in a week time. There really is nothing to hold on to this movie, no scene to think of, and no gimmick. It was flat from the start to the very end.

Recommendation: I can't really recommend this to anyone. It was just flat.

Rating: 3/10 (Grade: F)
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You need to put up some curtains......
FlashCallahan15 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
On the day he's fired from his job in Phoenix, for falling off the wagon and waking up in the hotel room of an associate who files a suit for harassment, Nicholas Halsey comes home to find his stuff on the front lawn, the locks changed, and a farewell note from his wife.

With his bank account frozen, his credit cards and phone cancelled, and his company car gone, he takes up residence on the lawn.

A cop who's his AA sponsor tells him he can sit there for five days as if it's a garage sale, then he'll face arrest.

With help from a chubby kid on a bicycle, a pregnant neighbour, and an old high school acquaintance, Nick goes on a beer-soaked odyssey, from his front-yard easy chair...

Not since stranger than fiction, has Ferrell been this brilliant. This proves that the man can act, without acting stupid, but one does hope he doesn't go all Jim Carrey, because I like the other Will, I really do.

His character is really hard to root for though, as he has all this coming to him, and no matter what he does in the film, it still nags in the ack of his head 'you really have no one else to blame'.

The film doesn't really focus on alcoholism, but the connotations are rife throughout. He drinks through the majority of the film, and plotwise, drinking has destroyed him, but the narrative doesn't really focus on that, it focuses on him and his thoughts.

It's beautifully made though, one of those lovely films that comes around once in a while from out of nowhere and really grabs you.

the performances are first rate and the locations beautiful.

But just as you think that things are going his way a little, they just get worse, and he hits another wall. This man gets no reprieve throughout the film, and at times it does make you feel a little down, but makes you thankful for what you have got.

An easy film to watch, with a lovely message.
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It's a flop.
Brett Grimes19 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
So, I went into this movie blindly expecting comedy, of course because of Will Ferrell. Luckily it was a cheap buy, with no case. So I assumed the best.

In the beginning of the movie you see Nick (Ferrell), in his car, lamenting, staring at a gold gift box. We find out quickly that Ferrell's character is an alcoholic, who just lost his job. He arrives home after buying a large quantity of beer, to find all of his belongings in the front yard of his house. With his wife gone, and him locked out of the house he proceeds to try to sort out his belongings and eventually is living on his front yard. When the neighbor kid Kenny agrees to watch Nick's belongings, he comes back to find his car being repossessed, after just a day, when he was told he could use it for a month.

All of this happens in the span of 15 minutes into the movie. Afterwards, it simply crawls along, inserting desperate scenes to keep your attention. In the end, all of the belongings are sold, and you only ever here Nick's wife's voice in two lines. You don't even see the spouse. The movie ends with Nick getting a key two his house, everything sold, and no idea what the wife is up to.

Whats wrong here, is you don't even get a build up to the main plot. You don't see the happenings in Nick's job that gets him fired. You never see the wife throwing out his belongings, or the rocky relationship that was... Heck, you never even see "her"! Not to mention, 80% of the movie is in the front yard. And in the end, there's no happy ending, no moving on for Nick, just him and an empty house. And you left hanging.

Boring, & low budget. Wouldn't recommend it.
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Wil Ferrel really needs to stay with his day job
Targe7 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers

I haven't seen him play George Bush yet, but after this yawn-fest, I just might dodge. This movie was B-O-R-I-N-G, and I'm not saying that because I was expecting Wil to be FUNNY, which is what he is good at, and I blame that on the reviews and the sell on this movie.

I know you don't have much to work with when the entire freaking movie takes place ON SOME GUY'S LAWN. They should have called this 'Alcoholic has Garage Sale and Camps Out'.

And please, when an alchie runs out of booze, your telling me he's NOT going to break into his house, a house that is half his? And when your now ex-wife forges your signature and locks you out of 45k in your bank account, your not going to go BALLISTIC and show them right then and there his signature was forged?

This movie is cringe-worthy, horrible. Wil is flat as a pancake. He was playing Wil Ferrel, hung over, when he's not on set on his day off, on a Sunday. That is NOT acting. His next door neighbour, again, horrible, boring, not acting, not worth watching. The chubby black kid who wants to learn baseball was the ONLY saving grace, and THAT'S NOT SAYIN' MUCH!

Perhaps the thing that peesis me off the most is that I bought this movie at a going-out-of-business Rogers Video sale (howz that for irony?) so I paid 2 bucks more for it than I would have to rent it. ...

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