Bob Mondello Bob 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.
Doby Photography/NPR
Bob Mondello 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Bob Mondello

Arts Critic

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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Story Archive

Hollywood's Biopic Fever: 5 Fact-Based Films Released This Week

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Six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince, center) and her buddies Scooty (Christopher Rivera, left) and Jancey (Valeria Cotto) run wild around her motel home in The Florida Project. Courtesy of A24 hide caption

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Courtesy of A24

'Florida Project' Turns A Decrepit Corner Of Orlando Into A Cinematic Playground

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Review: 'Blade Runner 2049' Will Satisfy Fans As It Expands On Original

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Robert Gulaczyk as a Vincent van Gough self portrait in Loving Vincent Courtesy of Breakthru Films hide caption

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Courtesy of Breakthru Films

'Loving Vincent' Paints Van Gogh Into A Murder Mystery

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'Battle Of The Sexes' Poised To Be A Crowd-Pleaser All Over Again

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(From left) Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name; Jason Mitchell in Mudbound; Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes; and Idris Elba in Molly's Game. 61st BFI London Film Festival/ Steve Dietl, 61st BFI London Film Festival/ Melinda Sue Gordon, 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/ Courtesy of TIFF hide caption

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61st BFI London Film Festival/ Steve Dietl, 61st BFI London Film Festival/ Melinda Sue Gordon, 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/ Courtesy of TIFF

NPR's Movie Preview: 16 New Films To Watch This Fall

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'Call Me By Your Name' Stands Out Among Dozens At Toronto Film Festival

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Artist Jan Van Loos (Dane DeHaan) begins an affair with Sophia Sandvoort (Alicia Vikander) in Tulip Fever. Alex Bailey /The Weinstein Co. hide caption

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Alex Bailey /The Weinstein Co.

'Tulip Fever': A Lush Portrait Of A Florid Affair

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A Closeted Teen Struggles To Maintain His Double Life In 'Beach Rats'

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Rob Brydon (left) and Steve Coogan improvise exaggerated versions of themselves in The Trip to Spain. Rory Mulvey/Courtesy of IFC Films hide caption

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Rory Mulvey/Courtesy of IFC Films

Friends Coogan And Brydon Take Their Dueling Impressions On A 'Trip To Spain'

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When a Native American teenager is found dead, FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olson, center) works with local police (Graham Greene, right, Hugh Dillon) to figure out what happened. Fred Hayes/The Weinstein Company hide caption

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Fred Hayes/The Weinstein Company

Loss Piles Up Deep As Wyoming Snow Drifts In 'Wind River'

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In 2006, Al Gore issued a forceful warning about the threat of climate change in An Inconvenient Truth. More than a decade later, he's followed it up with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Jensen Walker/Paramount Pictures hide caption

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Jensen Walker/Paramount Pictures

'An Inconvenient Sequel' Is An Effective, Cautiously Optimistic, 'I Told You So'

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In 'Dunkirk,' Christopher Nolan Brings New Life To True World War II Story

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Step Inside A Movie Projection Booth To See What's Changed Since Film

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