NPR
For 270 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 10.9 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 270
270 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The script I did question; it takes awhile to get going, and it feels strangely flat at the very end. But in between, Lee is very skillfully employing cinema's most advanced digital techniques in the service of an adventure yarn that is gloriously old-fashioned - and often just glorious.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Robert Cenedella, the titular painter in the briskly entertaining new documentary Art Bastard, is a New York artist who has spent years battling the New York art establishment. To be clear, he is a bastard, in that he was born to parents who weren't married. But also in that he's an inveterate troublemaker — a mocker of other artists — who can be a thorn in the side of even people who are trying to help him.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    All of which is to say that most of the real world challenges that Leo DiCaprio faced in "The Revenant," 10-year-old Neel Sethi faces plenty persuasively in The Jungle Book's digitized world.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    The camera captures intimate moments with musing, chattering young women who, as All This Panic goes on, seem not so much consumed by panic as by motion — dancing in a club, running on a beach, hopping a subway or a cab, exploring ... trajectories.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Jacobs argued that what looks to officialdom like disorder is actually what makes a crowded human landscape function — it's just a more complex order. This compelling documentary lets you see the beauty she found in that complexity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    And then there's the simple fact of De Niro, playing a delusional taxi driver. It's easy to imagine Being Flynn's story turning precious in the wrong hands, but Weitz and his cast spin it just right - as a narrative that is both emotionally real, and just writerly enough to suit its leading men.
    • 77 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    As a writer and a remarkably accomplished first-time director, Peele layers other notions on top as he's inverting those — about servitude, about social privilege, about law enforcement and "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" - style liberals.
    • 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 ...
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    End of Watch is one thriller where the adrenaline rush, considerable as it is, is almost always put in the service of character. Happily, the character on display turns out to be considerable, too.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    A film that's sweet, inclusive and sunny, a charmer filled with people who seem every bit as surprised as we are when they manage to look past surface differences, and find reasons to bond.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    What gives their story emotional heft has to do with a different kind of dimension: a depth of feeling surrounding the Black Stallion-style bonding of boy and beast.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    Undertow, for all its narrative tricks, has been given the rhythm and texture of real life, as well as emotional undercurrents that are haunting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Bob Mondello
    That film is far more interesting in concept, and infinitely more elegant in execution, than what Rogen and his buddies have cooked up in This Is the End — but I've gotta admit, it's not nearly as funny.
    • 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.

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