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 Son of Saul
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 265
265 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame of A Single Man.
    • 87 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Its story ends up packing an emotional wallop as substantial as its title character.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Delpy and Hawke have never been more persuasive. Nor has the series.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    Scenes that are about to turn catastrophic for Kolya often begin with flat-out comedy.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    An animated western that's effortlessly the most exhilarating flight of computer-drawn fancy since "Ratatouille."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    As captured by the Safdies, they are — one and all — persuasive, arresting and fiercely in the moment, whether scamming or shooting up or doing heaven knows what to get by.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    This workplace-as-hellscape is not new territory, exactly — the story's based on Dostoevsky, plays like Kafka, and looks like an Orwellian nightmare. But who'd complain, since it lets Jesse Eisenberg offer what amounts to an acting master-class.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    An action flick entertaining enough to justify the more than $100 million it took to make it come alive on-screen. And come alive, Deepwater Horizon does, in 107 minutes of terse, tight storytelling, a good 95 of which are white-knuckle tense.

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