NPR
For 226 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 11.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Stories We Tell
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 226
226 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.
    • 97 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Delpy and Hawke have never been more persuasive. Nor has the series.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Writer-director Martin Provost tells much of Seraphine's true-life story without words, lingering here on the process by which she makes paints, there on the obsessive single-mindedness she brings to her art.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    What sets this film entertainingly apart from most civil-rights sagas, though, are a slew of relaxed, offhandedly persuasive performances, along with the flamboyance of hippie-era San Francisco.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    So relentlessly upbeat that it won't take long before you're wondering just how the director plans to wipe the smile off her face.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    McConaughey's flirty drawl and rowdy energy have never been put to better dramatic use than they are in Dallas Buyers Club.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    Psihoyos describes his troops as a kind of "Ocean's 11" team, and that's apt enough: He's making a real-life action caper, a heist with potential consequences in the real world. The buildup to getting the shots they want has a good deal of natural tension. And the payoff -- well, let's just say it's devastating.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    It's hard to imagine anyone caring much why we're plunging ahead at warp speed, when the ride is so insanely satisfying.
    • 83 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Hanks and Abdi are so compellingly matched that unlike with most thrillers, it won't be the action climax in Captain Phillips that'll stick with you. It'll be that aftermath, which gets at the emotional toll of terrorism in a way few movies have.