NPR
For 241 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 241
241 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    Turner's painting of the scene, The Fighting Temeraire will, in fact, become his masterpiece. As Mr. Turner is Mike Leigh's — a growling, snuffling, earthy work of art, every frame worthy of framing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    The storytelling in Incendies strikes me as primal the way Greek tragedy is primal. Shattering. Cathartic. It is a breathtaking film.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    It is Ejiofor — bewildered, sorely tested, morally towering — whose staggered dignity anchors the film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    The last 30 seconds of the film — wrenching, startling, utterly transformative of everything that precedes them — has haunted me for months. The Past will, I'm guessing, haunt me for years.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    It's the relationship between the two men that makes the film work: Geoffrey Rush's teacher cracking the quip, and Colin Firth so persuasive as the panicky king that by the time he gets to his crucial speech about going to war, you'll be panicking right along with him.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    Terrific entertainment - an unlikely thriller that makes business ethics, class distinctions and intellectual-property arguments sexy, that zips through two hours quicker than you can say "relationship status," and that'll likely fascinate pretty much anyone not named Zuckerberg.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    The film is gorgeous and abstract, leaping around in time and space, structured in movements and more like a symphony than a conventional narrative.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    Seriously, one of the most jaw-dropping revelations occurs halfway through the final credits. All of which makes the stories Sarah Polley tells in Stories We Tell an enormously intriguing lot.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    A film that captures the drama and suspense of real life as urgently as any picture released this year.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    It seems almost odd to talk of performances when they're as natural and unforced as they are in Boyhood, but they're fascinating, with the adults nearly as physically altered by time as the kids.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    The delighted gasps in the theater will make you glad you took a chance on The Artist. Silent black-and-white movies are not coming back, but this one is such a rewarding labor of love by all of the artists involved that it just might make you wish they could.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 96 Bob Mondello
    Romantic, action-packed and always held together by an intriguing social conscience, Slumdog Millionaire is a rapturous crowd pleaser.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 95 Bob Mondello
    The real relationship here is between a Batman in existential crisis and a Joker who'd love to leap with him into the abyss -- tight-a--ed yin and anarchist yang in a fantasy franchise that Nolan has made as riveting for its psychological heft as for the adrenaline rushes it inspires at regular intervals.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 95 Bob Mondello
    As with Six by Sondheim, Tim's Vermeer works at capturing on film how artists work their miracles. And it will have you, long after the credits fade, puzzling out questions of invention, creativity, science, talent, painstaking craft, and the magic that comes of putting all that together.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 95 Bob Mondello
    Was the death of Osama bin Laden worth the moral price, the compromised ideals? The filmmakers could hardly avoid raising those questions, but they pointedly leave them for the audience to answer. This is not a triumphant story in their telling, but it is one uncommonly freighted with the weight of history.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 95 Bob Mondello
    The filmmaker has crammed Nebraska with orneriness, humor, greed, Americana and performances so natural they seem like found objects — especially Dern's, which caps a career of character parts with a delicately nuanced character.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The first hour of Wall-E is a crazily inventive, deliriously engaging and almost wordless silent comedy of the sort that Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton used to make.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The performances are explosively funny, from Hollander's increasingly bewildered and way-out-of-his-depth Simon to Chris Addison's hapless PR fledgling. But the star is Peter Capaldi.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Fruitvale Station isn't really a surprising film, except insofar as it's rare to see such a warmly emotional big-screen portrait of black family life.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The Tillman Story is ferocious filmmaking, but it wouldn't have half the force it does if the director didn't also get at the complicated man Pat Tillman was.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Healing the land helped heal Salgado. It also provides an eloquent closure to The Salt of the Earth, as landscapes of human misery give way to ... landscapes.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    By its final fade, Argo feels like more than just a thriller - even a thriller with real thrills and serious Oscar buzz. It feels like a window on events that led to the world we live in now.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    What might seem on paper a cloyingly sentimental heartwarmer becomes, in Cretton's hands, a briskly believable, often funny, always invigorating and ultimately wrenching story of emotional fortitude.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Calvary is bleak and corrosively funny in about equal measure, with the rugged grey/green landscape suiting the harshness of the village's attitudes about the Church, and repentance, and the worth of good works.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    First-time writer/director David Michod reportedly worked for eight years on his screenplay, deepening its tale of a violently dysfunctional family until its gangster conventions feel as if they're in the service of a modern-day Greek tragedy.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The adrenaline rush of war has been largely missing from Hollywood's Iraq, but it's certainly front and center in The Hurt Locker, the first war movie in a while that feels as if it could have starred John Wayne.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame of A Single Man.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    About Elly, a thriller perched right on the fault line between modern thinking and Islamic tradition.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Fellag, a comedian and himself an exile from Algeria, makes Lazhar both a sensitive and an amusing figure. And the kids are just terrific, especially Emilien Neron as a boy who carries the guilt of the whole school on his shoulders.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Its story ends up packing an emotional wallop as substantial as its title character.

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