August 24, 2012 Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a Manhattan bike messenger dodging a corrupt cop who wants a look at the package he's carrying. NPR's Bob Mondello says David Koepp's brisk actioner doesn't trouble itself with weighty themes — it's just a bona fide thrill ride.
August 23, 2012 As the party conventions approach, elaborate theatrics on the part of presidential candidates are at the forefront. NPR critic Bob Mondello takes a look at the ways campaigns frame their candidates to make them stand out like Broadway stars.
August 11, 2012 NPR's Bob Mondello recounts one of his worst days as a reporter. While watching a play in Stratford, Ontario, the movie critic misses the return of the town's biggest star.
August 9, 2012 The current nationwide drought won't let up — it's being compared to other drawn-out dry spells in the '30s and '50s. NPR's Bob Mondello looks at how droughts have inspired Hollywood over the decades. The results vary in tone but always highlight people's resilience — the simple stubbornness of life.
August 7, 2012 When it opened in 1953, nobody expected much of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. But what began 60 years ago as two plays in a tent is now a major theater festival. It attracts half a million ticket-buyers a year to the small Ontario town — which also boasts homegrown heartthrob Justin Bieber.
August 3, 2012 The Bourne Legacy is the latest movie to recast a main character in order to continue the franchise. But from Bond to Bewitched, Batman to Dumbledore, Hollywood has never been afraid to dump old stars and seek fresh blood for the sake of a character's longevity.
July 19, 2012 The Dark Knight Rises places Batman in contemporary New York amid familiar economic and social unrest. NPR's Bob Mondello says the film is as big and loud as expected. The biggest surprise is how satisfying an end it provides to Christopher Nolan's trilogy.
July 13, 2012 The safest bet for a box-office draw is not a superhero, action or sci-fi film — it's computer animation. Franchises like Toy Story, Ice Age and Shrek consistently make billions for their studios, Bob Mondello writes — and that's before DVD and toy sales kick in.
July 3, 2012 Peter Parker's transformation from nerdy teenager to nerdy teenager with superstrength is retold in The Amazing Spider-Man. NPR's Bob Mondello says that star Andrew Garfield is great as the awkward high-schooler with newfound powers, and keeps the movie from feeling superfluous.
June 29, 2012 Ted, the first film from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, is about 35-year-old Johnny (Mark Wahlberg) and his decidedly adult talking teddy bear. NPR's Bob Mondello has to confess that in time, he warmed up to this movie for and about overgrown kids.
June 19, 2012 American movies have been telling stories that idealize hard work, strong character and the rise of the little man for decades. But there's always a catch. NPR's Bob Mondello looks at what Hollywood means when it talks about the American dream.
June 15, 2012 Lynn Shelton returns with Your Sister's Sister, an improvised comedy about the complications that arise from alcohol-fueled sex, starring Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt. Critic Bob Mondello says the film seduces through its spontaneous wit and understated charm.