Bob MondelloBob Mondello reviews movies and covers the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, and shares critiques and commentaries on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered.
Short On Guile, Long On Hair: Ned (Paul Rudd), a trusting, open, sweetly innocent farmer, annoys his comparatively guarded sisters, including Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), by always saying exactly what's on his mind.
Nicole Rivelli/The Weinstein Company
The Two Pinkies: Whether played by Richard Attenborough (left) in 1947 or Sam Riley (right) in 2011, the tough-talking psychopath rests at the depraved moral center of Brighton Rock. He's obsessed with Catholicism — not for heaven, but for hell.
Warner Home Video/IFC Films
Sibling Revelry: For Nannerl Mozart (Marie Feret), 18th-century Europe was unwelcoming to women with her (according to the film) considerable gifts. Therefore, Wolfgang (David Moreau), her younger brother, became the pride of the Mozart family.
Sylvain Bonniol/Music Box Films
Taking A Stand: Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz), a police officer who moves to Bosnia to work with the United Nations, makes the decision to speak out against the moral turpitude of her fellow peacekeepers. Director Larysa Kondracki commits wholesale to a straightforward heroes-and-villains approach.
Andrei Alexandru/Samuel Goldwyn Films
Love, Sick: Cal (Steve Carell) gets thrown into hapless bachelorhood when he discovers that his wife has been cheating on him. Even as he gradually eases back into the single life, he still pines for the stability (and woman) he once thought he had.
En Pointe: Nurse-trainee Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) is on the run for much of Point Blank, which finds him outmaneuvering (and eventually succumbing to) bad guys as a consequence of saving a mysterious man's life.
Ice Cube's first-ever acting role was as troublemaker Doughboy in Boyz N The Hood. Bob Mondello says the film portrayed a side of L.A. that mainstream Hollywood was too afraid to show.