Bob Mondello

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career, "hired to write for every small paper in Washington, D.C., just as it was about to fold," saw that jink broken in 1984, when he came to NPR.

For more than three decades, Mondello has reviewed movies and covered the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, then sharing critiques and commentaries about the most intriguing on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered. In 2005, he conceived and co-produced NPR's eight-part series "American Stages," exploring the history, reach, and accomplishments of the regional theater movement.

Mondello has also written about the arts for such diverse publications as USA Today, The Washington Post, and Preservation Magazine, as well as for commercial and public television stations. And he has been a lead theater critic for Washington City Paper, D.C.'s leading alternative weekly, since 1987.

Before becoming a professional critic, Mondello spent more than a decade in entertainment advertising, working in public relations for a chain of movie theaters, where he learned the ins and outs of the film industry, and for an independent repertory theater, where he reveled in film history.

Asked what NPR pieces he's proudest of, he points to commentaries on silent films – a bit of a trick on radio – and cultural features he's produced from Argentina, where he and his husband have a second home. An avid traveler, Mondello even spends his vacations watching movies and plays in other countries. "I see as many movies in a year," he says. "As most people see in a lifetime."

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5:33pm

Mon June 8, 2015
Movies

This Year, Women (And Girls) Rule The Big Screen

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 7:35 am

More than half of the top 10 box-office hits this year have centered on female characters, says NPR film critic Bob Mondello. But only a few — like Pitch Perfect 2 — were written or directed by women.
Richard Cartwright Universal Pictures

With Spy topping Hollywood's box-office charts this weekend, Melissa McCarthy becomes the latest woman to head a major box-office hit in 2015. And while that merely puts her in good company this year, it's hardly been common in the past.

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5:45pm

Mon May 25, 2015
Movies

Hollywood Promises Summer Of Blockbusters, And Could Deliver

Originally published on Mon May 25, 2015 5:52 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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3:44pm

Fri February 27, 2015
Movie Reviews

Tense 'Eastern Boys': Cruising, and Bruising

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:13 pm

Eastern Boys begins as a home invasion story but evolves to something more complex, says NPR film critic Bob Mondello.
Courtesy of First Run Features

Seen from street level, the young Eastern European men cruising a Paris train station at the outset of Eastern Boys would doubtless look like individuals. But filmmaker Robin Campillo has positioned the camera overhead, and from his bird's eye perch it's clear they're working in tandem — looking out for each other, stealing, soliciting.

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3:42pm

Wed December 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Selma' Manages To Be Both Passion-Inspiring And Measured

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 4:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

12:03pm

Fri December 5, 2014
50 Great Teachers

What The Movies Taught Us About Teaching

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:09 pm

Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters.
The Kobal Collection

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