NPR
For 265 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 11.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Tree of Life
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 265
265 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    The Secret in Their Eyes finds secrets everywhere -- even in what's driving Ben and Irene as they separately examine the decisions they made back in the 1970s. For both of them, as for their country, accurate remembrance of that period is crucial.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    Selick puts his real faith not in the gimmickry that Coraline's audiences will think they've shown up for, but in the stronger virtues that they'd likely view as old-fashioned: character, and story, and handmade figures, handmade milkshakes, handmade blades of grass, each one moving utterly persuasively as he and his animators tweak it, frame by frame.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    A case is being made here that it wasn't really Frost who did Nixon in: It was Nixon's old nemesis, the TV camera.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    It says something that 30 years after the events it depicts, Pride should feel so unexpectedly rousing. People cooperating across ideological lines? Finding common cause with folks they don't 100 percent agree with? What a concept.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Its story ends up packing an emotional wallop as substantial as its title character.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    As the film demonstrates over the course of a full year with her, and not a great year by any stretch -- there is more to this particular hard-charging, egomaniacal, joke machine than gets revealed onstage.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    By the end of Gone Girl, the social issues that animate the film's beginning — job loss in an economic downturn, differences in wealth and class, media manipulation — have receded, and things have gotten so plot-driven and pulpy, there's nothing to challenge the director or make him stretch. In the film's final stages he seems to be relying entirely on craft — but, boy, is it effective craft.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    After sitting at his elbow that day, I can tell you how he manages the tricks I saw really close-up. Not mysterious at all: It's magic, pure and simple.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The script I did question; it takes awhile to get going, and it feels strangely flat at the very end. But in between, Lee is very skillfully employing cinema's most advanced digital techniques in the service of an adventure yarn that is gloriously old-fashioned - and often just glorious.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    The film, though, is as sure-footed as their partnership is not - a nuanced portrait of emotional turmoil, persuasively acted, richly sensual one moment, wrenching the next, and unlike so many films centering on gay characters, not particularly concerned with things like coming out or HIV.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Without their guns, the men prove surprisingly helpless. And when a representative of a larger pan-African community tells them that if they want the women to stop treating them like children, they must behave responsibly, you sense a corner has been turned.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    As you might expect from the creator of "Inception" and "Memento," there are surprises both in the story and in the storytelling. But the biggest surprise may just be how satisfying Nolan has made his farewell to a Dark Knight trilogy that many fans will wish he'd extend to a 10-part series, at least.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Bob Mondello
    By the end, The Tribe has revealed itself as so original, and so chilling, it's likely to leave you speechless.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    It's a more mature magic than in previous Potter movies.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    All of which is to say that most of the real world challenges that Leo DiCaprio faced in "The Revenant," 10-year-old Neel Sethi faces plenty persuasively in The Jungle Book's digitized world.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame of A Single Man.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    Messengers with the worst possible message, they nonetheless manage to be human and alive, humorous and lively. In a film that itself bears such sad tidings about the costs of war, that is an affirming, even an inspiring, gift.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Director Stephen Frears, working from a book by the real Martin Sixsmith, isn't about to let the Irish church off the hook for a monstrous (and well-documented) chapter in its history. In flashbacks, he pictures the young Philomena as a sort of proto-Katniss, doing battle with a tyranny of nuns.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The result? A briskly self-aware, thoroughly stage-struck portrait of a theatrical portrait.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    The picture's real achievement though, is the warmth it brings to the music that animates the lives of these Afro-Cuban characters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    The director makes clear that everyone means well — the headmistress, protective of her students; the parents, trying to shield children from things they shouldn't know about just yet; the investigators asking questions carefully, trying to see their way through ambiguous answers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The filmmakers have been telling interviewers they have sufficient additional material for a whole other movie. And The Dog is eye-opening enough to make you kind of hope that's true.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Undertow, for all its narrative tricks, has been given the rhythm and texture of real life, as well as emotional undercurrents that are haunting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    What the women are there for in Listen Up Philip is to be truth-tellers to these childish novelists — especially Philip's eventually assertive girlfriend, who ends up using his books as coasters in a long (and welcome) mid-movie detour from the story of his self-involvement.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The Lunchbox is a first feature for director Ritesh Batra, but it nicely captures the almost overwhelming crush and noise of contemporary India, and it plays cleverly and delicately with the tension of whether its two correspondents might eventually meet. Theirs is one "virtual" romance that has nothing to do with social media.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    What elevates this standard, if relentless, plot line is that The Revenant feels like high-wire work without a net.
    • 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.

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