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

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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At a lonely checkpoint, an Israeli soldier (Itay Exlroad) dances with his weapon in Foxtrot. Giora Bejach/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Giora Bejach/Sony Pictures Classics

In 'Foxtrot,' Grief And Fate Come Together In A Brutal, Beautiful Dance

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Drawing Connections Between 'Young Karl Marx' And 'The Cured'

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A soon-to-be-divorced couple looks for their runaway son (Matvey Novikov) in Loveless, a pitch-black Russian drama that earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Roadside Attractions hide caption

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Roadside Attractions

A Missing Child, A Dying Marriage And A 'Loveless' Society

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Ticket Sales For Marvel's 'Black Panther' Are Superhero-Sized

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New Oral History Captures The Magic Of 'Angels In America'

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Daniela Vega stars in A Fantastic Woman, the tale of a trans woman who finds herself under societal suspicion after the death of her boyfriend. Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Sony Pictures Classics

'A Fantastic Woman' Is As Strong And Complicated As Its Star

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