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.
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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 '22 July' Filmmaker Paul Greengrass Tells The Story Of Terrorist Attack In Norway

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Despite Its Incendiary Subject Matter, 'Monsters And Men' Is Sober And Nuanced

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(From left) Kiki Layne and Stephan James in If Beale Street Could Talk, Ryan Gosling in First Man, Amanda Stenberg in The Hate U Give, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born Tatum Mangus/Annapurna Pictures, Universal Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Neal Preston/Warner Bros. hide caption

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Tatum Mangus/Annapurna Pictures, Universal Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Neal Preston/Warner Bros.

Pop Culture Happy Hour's 2018 Fall Movie Preview

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Toronto Film Award Expected To Put 'Green Book' On Oscar Shortlists

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Highlights From The Toronto International Film Fest

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Burt Reynolds was known for turning down some high-profile parts, including Han Solo, James Bond and the lead in Pretty Woman. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Burt Reynolds, Swaggering Star Actor, Has Died At 82

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(Clockwise from top left) Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Christian Convery, Oakley Bull and Maura Tierney star in Beautiful Boy, which is featured at the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF hide caption

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TIFF

Prolific Playwright Neil Simon Dies On Sunday At Age 91

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L to R: Jonah (Evan Rosado) draws while Ma (Sheila Vand) and Paps (Raul Castillo) drowse, in We the Animals. Paul Davidson/The Orchard hide caption

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Paul Davidson/The Orchard

When The Wild Rumpus Stops: 'We The Animals'

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'Madeline's Madeline' Toys With Viewer's Perception Every Step Of The Way

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Ron (John David Washington) and Patrice (Laura Harrier) strike power poses in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. David Lee/Focus Features hide caption

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David Lee/Focus Features

Spike Lee Checks Under The Hood In The Blistering 'BlacKkKlansman'

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Willi Herold (Max Hubacher) tries a Nazi officer's gear on for size, and find it fits all too well, in The Captain. Music Box Films hide caption

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Music Box Films

In 'The Captain,' Clothes Make The Man — And The Monster

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