NPR
For 272 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 69% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 A Separation
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 272
272 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    It is Ejiofor — bewildered, sorely tested, morally towering — whose staggered dignity anchors the film.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Cuaron and his son Jonas have felt the need not just to come up with ways to keep the characters talking — there's even a mildly sneery reference to NPR at one point — but to brush in backstory and motivation, quite as if the peril of being isolated in space with a limited supply of oxygen weren't sufficient rationale for the characters' actions.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    A film that captures the drama and suspense of real life as urgently as any picture released this year.
    • 95 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Delpy and Hawke have never been more persuasive. Nor has the series.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Scenes that are about to turn catastrophic for Kolya often begin with flat-out comedy.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The rich, not-always-rule-following mosaic of Iranian life he's created in Taxi — at once inspired, and inspiring — is the portrait that the outside world will see of Iran.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Those pole riders swaying high above the action - hired from Cirque du Soleil, don't you know - there to help make "Fury Road" a gorgeous, scrap metal demolition derby of a popcorn picture.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer is obviously treading on dicey moral ground here, empowering killers to tell their story when they've never been called to account for the barbarism that brought them to power.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    It's not an easy sit, but it is a riveting, effective one, and a genuine change from the familiar conventions of most holocaust dramas.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The awkwardness, the humiliation and the central unfairness of the position these folks have been put in is what filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne are exploring in Two Days, One Night — a slice of pressurized middle-class life they've made so real, it feels a bit like a documentary.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The film's timing, in short, could hardly be more resonant. And DuVernay's most remarkable accomplishment may be that with such passion inspiring material, she has made such a measured, resolute and levelheaded film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Doing a whole movie this way isn't unprecedented, of course. Hitchcock's "Rope" did it without digital trickery more than half a century ago. Still, it's a great cinematic stunt, even when you think you've found the hidden edits. And it makes Birdman as exhilarating a flight of fantasy as you're likely to see anytime soon.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    About Elly, a thriller perched right on the fault line between modern thinking and Islamic tradition.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    As odd as it sounds, director Ruben Ostlund manages to make Tomas's crisis of masculinity — his not having lived up to expectations that even he shares — as funny as it is appalling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 96 Bob Mondello
    Romantic, action-packed and always held together by an intriguing social conscience, Slumdog Millionaire is a rapturous crowd pleaser.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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