NPR
For 273 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 10.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 A Separation
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 273
273 movie reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 65 Bob Mondello
    But it does mean you're always aware that you're watching filmed theater - a scripted pressure-cooker where playability is being allowed to trump plausibility as theoretically cultivated adults morph into savages - going from civility to carnage in 80 minutes flat.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    So it makes sense that Young Adult feels at times like a mashup of styles and genres - part curdled rom-com, part psycho-prom-queen flick, with a little "Revenge of the Nerds" thrown in.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    The film's bluntness doesn't diminish the power of the nature-versus-nurture questions Eva's asking herself. Or of Swinton's harrowing portrait of parental guilt.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    The film rests firmly on the shoulders of its central icon, and Williams, though she doesn't really resemble Monroe in either voice or visage, is pretty splendid at conjuring her.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Bob Mondello
    Bottom line: Grant the film's big moments a kind of loopy majesty, and note that they're better acted than they deserve to be, not just by Ifans, Redgrave and Spall, but by David Thewlis and Edward Hogg as the villainous father-son team of William and Robert Cecil. It's a classy cast.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    As the comedy in 50/50 turns darker, Gordon-Levitt, who's maybe the most natural, least affected actor of his generation, makes prickly plenty engaging.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    You can't accuse the new Brighton Rock of being untrue to the book - it actually reinstates the novel's climax, placing violent events back atop a cliff as Greene had originally, rather than on the Brighton Pier, as he had in his screenplay.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    The rhythms are gentle, the smiles plentiful, the chuckles frequent, with the overall effect about as pleasantly innocuous as the film's hero.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Mozart's Sister is consequently gorgeous, with candlelit shots looking like old master paintings - a fine match for music that takes your breath away.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Credit Kondracki and Kirwan with having endowed their picture with considerable, if blunt, force. Their filmmaking suits the real-life atrocities they're exposing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    It's customary to describe this kind of thriller as "adrenaline-fueled," but this is the first time apart from "Pulp Fiction" I can recall there being an actual shot of adrenaline on screen. Samuel uses it to wake Hugo from his coma, then kind of wishes he hadn't.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Grant the filmmakers the efficiency of their plotting, even if it reduces characters to types. And credit them with having assembled a cast capable of making the film's craziness and stupidity appealing, even if hitching actors of the caliber of Moore and Gosling (and to a lesser extent Carell and Stone) to material this thin is a little like hitching a Saturn rocket to a go-cart.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    These guys are a hoot, and The Trip is a trip and a half.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Bob Mondello
    Small kids won't really appreciate Johnny Depp, either, though frankly he's getting to be less fun as the series ages, possibly realizing that what's riskiest in Pirates 4 isn't walking the plank, but jumping the shark.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Director Spencer Susser doesn't try to make Hesher anything other than a sociopath - a walking, profanity-spewing id - and to his credit, neither does Gordon-Levitt.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Bob Mondello
    The dude with the blond mane and bulging biceps clearly owns that hammer. And when the screenplay gives him something besides arrogance to work with, he owns the movie too.
    • 80 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 65 Bob Mondello
    After a few queasy moments at its midpoint, the trajectory of In a Better World becomes so relentlessly platitudinous that an audience that ought to feel seriously rattled will be settling back, feeling comfortably reassured.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 65 Bob Mondello
    It's all still pretty silly, though. So it makes sense that the director approaches the story through a period lens, encouraging his cast to behave as if they were in a frothy '70s confection like "Cousin Cousine" or "Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Bob Mondello
    An animated western that's effortlessly the most exhilarating flight of computer-drawn fancy since "Ratatouille."
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Bob Mondello
    I Am Number Four's CGI sequences are murky and dark, its performances negligible, its script genuinely inept. There is, I should note, a puppy, which arguably keeps the film this side of completely unbearable, but just barely.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 65 Bob Mondello
    Theatrically inclined parents will also appreciate a passing reference to the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Moving Co.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Kaboom's one-liners are snappy, knowing, and unexpected.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    The kiddie set can chortle at Megamind's slapstick and its goofy one-upmanship while adults get a kick out of all the smart spatial tricks that highlight the 3-D effects.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The end result is that Tiny Furniture plays like situation comedy, but with an overlay of performance art.
    • 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.

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