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."

Story Archive

James Caan was so persuasive as "Sonny" Corleone in The Godfather, that he got turned down when he tried to join a country club because its members thought that he, like his character, was a "made man." CBS Photo Archive/CBS via Getty Images hide caption

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CBS Photo Archive/CBS via Getty Images

Like a mob hit – the passing of a generation of movie gangsters

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In 1998, animated insects skittered onto movie screens in A Bug's Life and Antz. AJ Pics/Alamy hide caption

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AJ Pics/Alamy

Seeing double: Near-identical films that came out at the same time

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Bob Rafelson, 'Five Easy Pieces' director, has died at age 89

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American film director, writer and producer Bob Rafelson, pictured in this 1981 photo, died at his home in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday. He was 89. AP hide caption

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AP

Bob Rafelson, 'Five Easy Pieces' director and 'The Monkees' co-creator, has died

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'Dr. Zhivago,' 'Fargo' and more movies to help you chill in the summer heat

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"You have the proportions of a model," the fitter tells cleaning lady Ada Harris (Lesley Manville). Her reply: "Model railway, more like." Dávid Lukács / Focus Features hide caption

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Dávid Lukács / Focus Features

Dreaming of Dior, a charwoman follows her bliss in 'Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris'

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In 'Thor: Love & Thunder,' the hammer-throwing hero takes on Gorr the God Butcher

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James Caan on the set of the 1975 film Rollerball. John Downing/Getty Images hide caption

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John Downing/Getty Images

James Caan, an onscreen tough guy and movie craftsman, has died at 82

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British director Peter Brook smiles after receiving the 2008 Ibsen Award for bringing new artistic dimensions to the world of theater. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP/Getty Images

Influential theater director Peter Brook dies at 97

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Samara Weaving as Olivia and Eugenio Derbez as Antonio in the new Hulu film The Valet. Dan McFadden/ Hulu hide caption

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Dan McFadden/ Hulu

Minions: The Rise of Gru is the latest movie in the Despicable Me film franchise. Universal Pictures hide caption

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Universal Pictures

Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù plays Mr. Malcolm, the most desirable bachelor in 1818 London. Ross Ferguson/Bleecker Street hide caption

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Ross Ferguson/Bleecker Street

Ticking down a checklist of qualifications in 'Mr. Malcolm's List'

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Austin Butler brings the King's moves, mannerisms and voice in 'Elvis'

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