NPR
For 264 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 264
264 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    All I can add to the discussion is the fervent hope that any parents, teachers, administrators or students who see it will immediately start clamoring for it to be shown at their next PTA meeting.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    The film has some fairly grisly violence, but also considerable humor and the sort of intricate, thought-through storytelling you'd expect from Hitchcock or the Coen brothers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    McConaughey's flirty drawl and rowdy energy have never been put to better dramatic use than they are in Dallas Buyers Club.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    Filmmaker Francois Ozon is a young writer/director known for provocative work with mature stars — Kristin Scott Thomas was in his last picture, Catherine Deneuve in the one before that. And in Young and Beautiful, he establishes that you don't have to be young to be beautiful by having a still stunning Charlotte Rampling drop by to give his young star a life lesson. Or six.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    Director Dean DeBlois has been saying this installment is the middle movie in a How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. It's clear that he took inspiration from the first Star Wars trilogy — not a bad model for breathing new life, and yes, a bit of fire, into one of Hollywood's more nuanced animated franchises.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Bob Mondello
    From the opening moments, the one thing clear about It Follows is that it will not follow in everyone else's footsteps.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    By the end of the film's scant 72 minutes, the conceit is on the verge of wearing out its welcome, but by then, it's created so much stomach-churning, quease-inducing, uproariously embarrassing humiliation for Trevor that it's become all but irresistible.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Jack, as played by Andrew Garfield, comes across as agonized, desperately anxious to get things right -- something you might also say about the filmmakers, who have turned Boy A's very particular story into a scary, universal and wrenching social statement.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    So relentlessly upbeat that it won't take long before you're wondering just how the director plans to wipe the smile off her face.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Synecdoche, New York is one heck of a head-trip.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The filmmakers have mostly cast from Dominican playing fields rather than from acting studios -- Algenis Perez Soto, the accomplished first-time performer who plays Miguel Sugar Santos, was himself a teen ballplayer -- so game and practice sequences have an easy authenticity from the start.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The result? A briskly self-aware, thoroughly stage-struck portrait of a theatrical portrait.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The ascribing of emotions to these critters can get a little Lion King-ripe at times. But the filmmakers have filled in around their "family" narratives with footage that is breathtaking enough on a towering screen -- and you should find the biggest one possible -- that it is hard to object too strenuously.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    It will absolutely delight the art-house crowd. Multiplexes will be crowded with noisy summer films, after all, from which Departures will represent a sophisticated and elegant departure.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Writer-director Martin Provost tells much of Seraphine's true-life story without words, lingering here on the process by which she makes paints, there on the obsessive single-mindedness she brings to her art.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    I'm guessing Humpday will make its natural, easygoing leading men -- Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard -- much sought after.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    John Malkovich has played some odd ducks in his career, but for sheer unsavoriness, few can match the blandly monstrous Cape Town poetry professor he brings to off-putting life in Disgrace.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    A dramedy laying out the dueling coaching philosophies of guys who doubtless meant a great deal to fans, but of whom I'd been blissfully unaware for decades -- is enormously engaging. Enormously.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The Safdies filmed with handheld cameras, an obvious affection for New York and its denizens, and a script that includes so much structured improvisation that it's hard to imagine any of the dialogue was actually written down. Not surprisingly, the result is a character study with an almost documentary feel to it.

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