.

Everything Must Go

Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern

Directed by Dan Rush
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
May 12, 2011

Get ready for Will Ferrell like you've never seen him. As Nick Halsey, a salesman who's lost his job, drowned his sorrows and driven his fed-up wife to leave their suburban home, lock him out and toss his belongings on the front lawn, Ferrell delivers a performance of implosive intensity that rings true in every detail. Even in comedies — think Old School, Anchorman, Talladega Nights and The Other Guys — Ferrell shows the instincts of a true actor, never getting laughs at the expense of character.

A History of Comedy Stars on the Cover of Rolling Stone

Everything Must Go, deftly adapted from the great Raymond Carver's short story "Why Don't You Dance?" by first-time feature director Dan Rush, breaks new ground for Ferrell. He's as low-key as the movie that surrounds him. Rush's camera watches Nick sit out his exile in a lawn chair, mostly kibbitzing with Kenny, a chubby neighborhood kid played with acute timing and sensitivity by Christopher Jordan Wallace (son of R&B star Faith Evans and the late rapper Biggie Smalls).

The Complete Archive: Over 20 Years of Peter Travers' Movie Reviews Now Online

Nick's cop friend Frank Garcia (the excellent Michael Peña) buys him five days to sort his head out as long as he runs a yard sale. Nick intersects with new neighbor Samantha (Rebecca Hall) and has a poignant encounter with Delilah (Laura Dern), a friend he hasn't seen since high school. But basically Everything Must Go is a one-man show in which Ferrell plays a growing species of American castoff. There's no begging for tears for Nick; Rush keeps his film rigorously unsentimental, but Ferrell opens a wound and makes it impossible for us to ignore it.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com