NPR
For 261 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 11.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 A Separation
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 261
261 movie reviews
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    James White is never more moving than when the filmmaker shows his callow hero doing the best he can: when James helps his mom weather a particularly rough patch, for instance, with what amount to real-life bedtime stories. Imagining happy scenes he's pretty sure she'll never see — of James all grown up.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    From the opening moments, the one thing clear about It Follows is that it will not follow in everyone else's footsteps.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The filmmakers have mostly cast from Dominican playing fields rather than from acting studios -- Algenis Perez Soto, the accomplished first-time performer who plays Miguel Sugar Santos, was himself a teen ballplayer -- so game and practice sequences have an easy authenticity from the start.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    If weird is what you're looking for, The Lobster is, claws down, the rom-com of the year (though possibly not one you'd want to choose for a first date).
    • 82 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    These guys are a hoot, and The Trip is a trip and a half.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The film's tension comes partly from a raft of terrific performances — everyone's good, and Fassbender's stellar — and partly from juxtaposing Jobs' public and private personas. He could make cheering audiences believe he was changing the world, but backstage ... not so much.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    Stranger by the Lake has become a psychosexually intriguing blend of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and William Friedkin's "Cruising" — one in which sex gets intertwined with murder, fear battles desire, and the police discover that voyeurs don't necessarily make good witnesses if no one ever exchanges names or phone numbers.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    A dramedy laying out the dueling coaching philosophies of guys who doubtless meant a great deal to fans, but of whom I'd been blissfully unaware for decades -- is enormously engaging. Enormously.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    There's something kind of captivating about a film that's been painstakingly drawn to glorify the craft of illustration, and that's comfortable using retro techniques. Because after all, what else makes sense for bringing to life the gold and scarlet ornamentation in ancient manuscripts?
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    China's Cultural Revolution was a period of political turmoil, launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, a dark decade that many in Chinese society would prefer to forget. So it says something that Zhang Yimou's new drama Coming Home, which is set during those years, has been a big success in China.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    The stars and the explosions are backed up by plenty of class - Ralph Fiennes as M's new boss, Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe as a couple of the requisite Bond beauties, and Judi Dench finally given the space to turn M into a full-bodied character.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Director P.T. Anderson isn't generally a guy you go to if you're looking for answers. Questions are more his game, and that's as true here as it was in his far more serious pictures "The Master" and "There Will Be Blood." He is a terrific stylist, though, and the scattershot pleasures he's peddling in Inherent Vice may well satisfy those who like style more than substance, or maybe who like their style with substances.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    There is something weird about the twins, something that will fuel a bar room brawl until it goes quite literally global, that will let director Wright take a leap into another genre entirely and that will allow The World's End to spin into ever grander comic mayhem, even as it becomes a surprisingly effecting look at the folly of trying to recapture one's youth.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    All you really want to know is whether it's good, right? Well, in fact, it is better than it had to be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The Secret World of Arrietty may be too gentle and meditative to be the studio's breakout hit in this country, but it's another sweet advance, and further evidence that the Ghibli secret must soon out.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Daniel Craig brings us a new James Bond in Casino Royale. He's not only rugged, fearless and — when the chips are down, as they often are in this poker-faced thriller — a lethal weapon. He's also vulnerable.

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