Bob Mondello Bob Mondello reviews movies and covers the arts for NPR and shares critiques and commentaries on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered.
Bob Mondello 2010
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Bob Mondello

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 that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.

For more than three decades, Mondello has reviewed movies and covered the arts for NPR, seeing at least 300 films 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 USA Today, The Washington Post, Preservation Magazine, and other publications, and has appeared as an arts commentator on commercial and public television stations. He spent 25 years reviewing live theater for Washington City Paper, DC's leading alternative weekly, and to this day, he remains enamored of the stage.

Before becoming a professional critic, Mondello learned the ins and outs of the film industry by heading the public relations department for a chain of movie theaters, and he reveled in film history as advertising director for an independent repertory theater.

Asked what NPR pieces he's proudest of, he points to an April Fool's prank in which he invented a remake of Citizen Kane, 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

Since Aug. 6, 1945, artists of every stripe have had to reckon with a world forever altered by nuclear weapons — Hollywood included. Above, Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Express/Getty Images hide caption

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Express/Getty Images

'And The World Went Crazy': How Hollywood Changed After Hiroshima

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Movie 'She Dies Tomorrow' Reviewed

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More Epic Than You May Think: Marie Curie's Biopic, 'Radioactive,' Reviewed

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(L-r) John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in Warner Bros. Pictures' action epic "TENET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Entertainment hide caption

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Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Christopher Nolan's Sci-Fi Thriller 'Tenet' Delayed Indefinitely

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2 New Movies Exploring Mother-Daughter-Granddaughter Relationships Reviewed

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What To Watch This Weekend: 'Hamilton' And 'John Lewis: Good Trouble,' Reviewed

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'Jurassic Park' Gets To The Top Of The Weekend's Top 10 List

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What Movies Hollywood Prepared For The Reopening Of Theaters

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Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden Follow Homer's 'Odyssey' In Their New Film

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Disney Announces The Date Of 'Hamilton' Movie Release

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A Sensational Film About Street Violence In London Is Now Streaming

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In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has authorized the opening of theaters, but Chris Escobar, owner of the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, won't be unlocking the doors quite yet. "I'm not forcing my employees to choose between their livelihoods and their lives," he says. CJ Swank/Plaza Theatre hide caption

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As Some States Reopen, Theater Owners Are Watching — And Mostly Waiting

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NASA confirmed that actor Tom Cruise and private spaceflight company Space X are considering a feature film shot on board the International Space Station. Cruise is shown above in New York City in June 2017. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images