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.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading 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.


    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

    “I Was Made to Love Her”

    Stevie Wonder | 1967

    Stevie Wonder discovered true love while still a teenager, writing this ode to young love when he was only 17. The song, Wonder explained, "kind of speaks of my first love, to a girl named Angie, who was a very beautiful woman. She's married now. Actually, she was my third girlfriend but my first love. I used to call Angie up and we would talk and say, 'I love you, I love you,' and we'd talk and we'd both go to sleep on the phone.” The Beach Boys, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men have all recorded versions of "I Was Made to Love Her."

    More Song Stories entries »