NPR
For 238 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 238
238 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    They flail and they thrash, and Krokidas' film is just like them — as jazz-inflected and freewheeling as the Beat poetry these guys were about to unleash on the world.
    • 76 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    It's the sort of film that feels so authentic that even knowing it's a fiction, the morning after seeing it, I found myself scanning headlines to see if there were any new developments.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The German Doctor is never showy or melodramatic — just a kind of true-life horror story about the helpful, soft-spoken monster in our midst.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Turturro's direction owes a little something to Spike Lee, and a lot to Allen, who reportedly had a hand in helping refine the script — certainly his own lines sound as if he's simply riffing in character. Together they succeed in keeping the mood light, even as the filmmaker is gently tugging the plot in other directions — to look at loneliness, and longing, and heartbreak.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    What's not fictional in their Trip to Italy is the gorgeous Italian coastline director Michael Winterbottom has them romping through, or the food they barely notice (though it'll have you famished by film's end), or the yacht they commandeer, bellowing all the while ...
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Kendrick qualifies as the movie's secret weapon — actually not so secret now that she's charmed audiences in both Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect. She's so appealing here, in fact, that audience sympathies are likely to be less-than-evenly split between the two leads.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Probably the most artful of the Apatow Factory comedies so far, but that's not to suggest it doesn't take being sweetly dumb just as seriously as the rest.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    For Soldini, even bleakness has a poetic side, and his imagery is occasionally breathtaking here -- never more so than in the film's final tableau, which elegantly connects a Renaissance fresco Elsa had been working on before the couple's fall from grace with a strikingly similar real-life image suggesting the possibility of a renaissance in their marriage.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    It's a more mature magic than in previous Potter movies.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    A bit abrupt about its mood-changing revelations and a bit sketchy about its put-out-to-pasture characters. But it's a warmly engaging romp nonetheless.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Director Sam Mendes makes '50s suburbia a persuasively suffocating place — he did the same for '90s suburbia in "American Beauty," remember.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Unlike say, "Monsters Vs. Aliens," which would have been nothing at all without its special-effects spectacle, this is a sweet little comedy, both family-friendly and centered on a nontraditional family, and so suitable for pretty much everyone.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Ends with a big action sequence, turning into Raiders of the Lost Arby's when you wish it would serve up something less conventional. But by that time, the filmmakers have also served up a little food for thought, along with a lot of laughs.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    This was an era when international travel was not yet common, and in 16mm home movies from the trip, you can see the excitement as 1940s cities burst into gaudy state welcomes for the creator of El Raton Mickey.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    By and large, the tone is gentle, the music French, and the food shot so delectably that you can all but smell the freshly baked bread.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Freeman's Mandela, however, is pretty marvelous -- so persuasive in gesture, in bearing, in that signature mix of gravitas and twinkle, even in accent -- that when a shot of the real Mandela appears over the final credits, it's momentarily jarring to realize you've been watching an impersonation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Lisbeth, pierced, tattooed and played by Rapace with a sometimes uncontrolled ferocity, qualifies as both a victim of male violence and a violent avenger of it. This makes her a lot more compelling than her comparatively passive partner -- something that Hollywood will doubtless find it necessary to "remedy" when Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is remade in English.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Celebrity's tough to let go of, apparently, even when you know it's undeserved. Best Worst Movie doesn't plumb that thought very deeply. It doesn't do anything very deeply, really -- it's content to skate across the surface of the so-bad-it's-good phenomenon that gave it birth. The filmmakers are too close perhaps; probably don't want to kill the troll that laid the golden egg.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Engaging enough as polemics go, but unlikely to change many minds.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Edwards is a wizard with his laptop's effects program. The squiddy things he conjures up look like the real deal - thoroughly creepy and a gazillion feet tall. Too bad his screenwriting software didn't have an equivalently impressive plot-twisting algorithm to get him to the final fade.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The end result is that Tiny Furniture plays like situation comedy, but with an overlay of performance art.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Style over substance? Well, yes, but Dolan's a precocious talent (a decent actor, to boot), and at the advanced age of 21, has all the time in the world to deal with weightier matters. Heartbeats, meanwhile, is fluff - engaging, moody, visually snappy fluff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Page One is an insider's view, but if it isn't raking up any muck, it's not a love letter either.

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