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.
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 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 An Effort To Shorten Academy Awards Telecast, 4 Awards Won't Be Presented Live

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Movie Review: 'The Gospel Of Eureka' And 'The Lego Movie 2'

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Five-Time Oscar Nominee And English Actor Albert Finney Dies At 82

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'Everybody Knows' Marries Far-Flung Talent To A Story About A Wedding Gone Wrong

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Movie Review: Can M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass' Make Its Trilogy Connection Clear?

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'Hello, Dolly!' Broadway Star Carol Channing Dies At 97

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When the Gran Splendid Theater in Buenos Aires was converted into a branch of the Ateneo bookstore, the stage became a cafe. It was just named "the world's most beautiful bookstore" by National Geographic. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Inside 'The World's Most Beautiful Bookstore' In Argentina

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Not throwing away his shot(gun): Christian Bale's Dick Cheney smirks and glowers in Vice. Matt Kennedy/Annapurna hide caption

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Matt Kennedy/Annapurna

'On The Basis Of Sex' And 'Vice': 2 Biopics — 1 Bathed In Light, 1 Steeped In Shadow

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In His New Film, Shakespearean Actor Kenneth Branagh Stars As The Bard Himself

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A statue of George M. Cohan, prolific Broadway composer and performer, stands in New York's Times Square. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

George M. Cohan, 'The Man Who Created Broadway,' Was An Anthem Machine

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In 'Mary Poppins Returns,' The Practically Perfect Nanny Is Back

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Yonis (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole), L, and Zain (Zain Al Rafeea), R, find a moment of quiet amid the chaos in Capernaum. Sony hide caption

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Sony

A Boy Grows Up Fast On The Streets Of Beirut In The Dickensian 'Capernaum'

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In 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' Characters Struggle Against Injustice And Find Hope Through Love

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