NPR
For 271 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 10.6 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 271
271 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    Engaging enough as polemics go, but unlikely to change many minds.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    It's also violent to point of sadism, explicit both visually and in terms of language. A potty-mouthed splatterfest, in fact — but a funny one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Bob Mondello
    The end result is that Tiny Furniture plays like situation comedy, but with an overlay of performance art.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    This is a special Jersey Boys universe crafted specifically for fans — among whom you can pretty clearly count Clint Eastwood.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Kaboom's one-liners are snappy, knowing, and unexpected.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    The filmmakers wanted to broaden the formula a little, make it more inclusive, do something a little adventurous. Kinda like Earth to Echo's tween heroes.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Good demonstrates the surprising power of character flaws in drama. How else to explain that the portrayal of a good man who does nothing in Good should prove more dramatically compelling than the stories in "Valkyrie" and "Defiance" of good men who did good?
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Redmayne is hugely persuasive as a redneck geek -- you'd never guess he's a Brit with credits in classical theater.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Eisenberg lets us see Sam's growing distress, and also the fortitude with which he faces down his fears -- few young actors are as adept at simultaneously conveying panic and bravado.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Deathly Hallows I actually manages to be involving and kind of artful about the boredom and loneliness of heroism, while sounding a long throbbing drumroll for next summer's grand finale.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Stoppard, remember, wrote the screenplay for the 1998 film "Shakespeare in Love," which brought wit and romance to this same period. Tulip Fever is not in that film's league, but it's lush and boisterous and crammed with the sort of arts gossip and commerce trivia that go nicely with gilded frames and talk of tulip futures.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Claude Miller's ravishingly shot drama A Secret gives up its titular mystery early, so it may seem odd to speak of the suspense it generates.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    The filmmakers tried to get him to tell his side of the story, but he's unwilling to appear on camera. Which leaves them in documentary limbo, since they've gone to great lengths to raise questions in the audience's mind about the case. The answers they've found are questions, their conclusion, inconclusive.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    This is a world of dinner jackets and evening gowns, casual jaunts to Venice and Morocco; it's about elegance, style, money and perhaps too heady a mix of drink, religion and intrigue.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    All of which makes the film Noah psychologically credible — his behavior is very much what you might expect of a man who has just condemned millions of screaming souls to watery graves. And it makes the film unpredictably suspenseful, which is dramatically the most welcome thing you could ask of a biblical epic.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    You'd think the weakest link in Fanboys would be that it's all in-jokes, but they're actually not so "in" that a casual fan won't get them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    Director Michael Grandage hails from the stage. So does screenwriter John Logan, so where films about writers are often filled with raised eyebrows rather than raised voices, these guys actively encourage grand gestures. Like the characters, they are intoxicated — not just by jazz or bootleg liquor, but by words.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    There's not a lot that's new about the terrors he faces - the director uses time-honored techniques to keep you on edge, every one of which graced Hammer films of yore. But happily for the picture, there's a reason they're time-honored. And keep you on edge, they definitely do.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Bob Mondello
    God Knows Where I Am turns out to be every bit as much a story of panic as "All This Panic." But where teenagers flail, Linda is resigned ... her tragic story a study in stillness and, ultimately, in silence.
    • 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.

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