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

'Deadpool 2' Returns With More Trash Talk And Humor

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'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Has A Long Buildup But Offers More Background On Han

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Clockwise from top left: Sorry To Bother You, Incredibles 2, Crazy Rich Asians, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Annapurna Pictures/Disney Pixar/Sanja Bucko, Warner Bros. Pictures/Hopper Stone, SMPSP/Lucasfilm Ltd./Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures Productions hide caption

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Annapurna Pictures/Disney Pixar/Sanja Bucko, Warner Bros. Pictures/Hopper Stone, SMPSP/Lucasfilm Ltd./Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures Productions

A (very literal) mountain biker makes a base jump in Moab, Utah in the documentary Mountain. Greenwich Entertainment hide caption

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Greenwich Entertainment

It's Not Just The Thin Air That's Breathtaking: The Documentary 'Mountain'

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Actors rehearse a dance scene for the 1968 London production of the musical Hair. Larry Ellis/Getty Images hide caption

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Larry Ellis/Getty Images

'Hair' At 50: Going Gray, But Its Youthful Optimism Remains Bouncy And Full-Bodied

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L to R: Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Drax (Dave Bautista), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Marvel Studios hide caption

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Marvel Studios

In 'Avengers: Infinity War,' The Superheroes Have Their Work Cut Out For Them

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In writer/director Chloe Zhao's The Rider, Brady (Brady Jandreau) is forced to rethink his life after a traumatic rodeo accident. Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Sony Pictures Classics

After The Fall: A Cowboy Picks Up The Pieces Of His Former Life In 'The Rider'

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What Made '2001, A Space Odyssey' Such An Influential Film

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Carol (Edie Falco) and Chris (Jay Duplass) share an intimate moment in Lynn Shelton's Outside In. The Orchard hide caption

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The Orchard

A Fragile Relationship Tested By Freedom In 'Outside In'

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'Ready Player One' Is Full Of '80s Nostalgia And 'Easter Eggs'

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Political Subtext In Wes Anderson's 'Isle Of Dogs' Is More Bark Than Bite

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'A Wrinkle In Time' Will Delight Target Audience That Doesn't Have Too Many Wrinkles

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What To Expect From The 90th Academy Awards

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