NPR
For 256 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Bob Mondello's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Artist
Lowest review score: 10 I Am Number Four
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 256
256 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The lady was - and remains - a pro, still glowin', crowin', goin' strong.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The Hunger Games' pacing is brisk, its stakes as high as stakes get, and its leading lady engaging enough that the odds - at the box office at least - will be ever in its favor.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The banter has zip, the effects are fun, the climactic battle is decently spectacular, and if the 3-D is mostly expendable, there are a few scenes where it adds a nice kick.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey isn't "unexpected" at all, though between its lighter tone and a decade's worth of improvements in digital film techniques, there should be enough of a novelty factor to delight most fans.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    An intriguingly complex portrait of both of its characters and of the time of flux they live in.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Gordon-Levitt keeps things riotous for the film's first hour, and if he eases into an ending that's a little Hollywood-standard, after having so much fun tweaking form and content, I'm guessing audiences will cut him some slack.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    With most of its voices hailing from Broadway, it's a good bet the composers have one eye fixed on a future stage incarnation; makes sense, then, that there'd be references to a couple of Disney's Broadway hits. The opening number sounds a lot like "The Lion King"; then there's a "Beauty and the Beast"-style tour of the town.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Oddly though, the most shocking thing about the film is that it often prompts laughs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Any slack, though is picked up by Shep Gordon, who seems every inch the "supermensch" of the title — splendid company, a sterling storyteller, and yeah, a real mensch.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who are themselves impressive partners at this point) know enough not to mess with a successful formula.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The sexual tension in Venus in Fur acquires a few specifically Polanski-esque layers.

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