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

Review: 'Dune' may be on HBO Max, but it's one film you want to see on a big screen

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Was Daniel Craig's final James Bond film 'No Time To Die' worth the wait?

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'Old Henry' Honors The Western Genre While Offering Surprises

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Tom (Dan Stevens) whisks a very skeptical Alma (Maren Eggert) around the dance floor as his precision-tooled algorithm tries to meet her every requirement for the perfect man. Bleecker Street hide caption

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Bleecker Street

In 'I'm Your Man,' Failing At Romance Is Part Of The Algorithm

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The Best And Worst So Far From The Not-Very-Festive Toronto International Film Fest

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Clockwise from top left: Insecure, Impeachment: American Crime Story, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, The Wonder Years, The Premise and Star Wars: Visions. WarnerMedia, FX, Amazon Studios, ABC, FX, Disney+ hide caption

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WarnerMedia, FX, Amazon Studios, ABC, FX, Disney+

How Movies Have Shaped The Perception Of 9/11

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French Film Star Jean-Paul Belmondo, The Epitome Of Cool, Dies At 88

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Daniel Craig's final crack at 007 was among the first films to delay opening because of the pandemic. He will play across Ana de Armas in No Time To Die. Nicola Dove/Danjaq, LLC and MGM hide caption

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Nicola Dove/Danjaq, LLC and MGM

The 9 Biggest Movies To Watch This Fall (And Other Films That Sound Intriguing)

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Marvel Debuts A New Origin Story With 'Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings'

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U.S. soldiers stand guard along the perimeter at the international airport in Kabul Aug. 16, 2021. Shekib Rahmani/AP hide caption

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Shekib Rahmani/AP

Our Film Critic Explores Why The Harrowing Afghanistan Images May Feel Familiar

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Sundance Hit 'CODA' Is A Warm Coming-Of-Age Romance About The Child Of Deaf Parents

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Movie Musical 'Annette' Is A Straightforward Story Yet A Directorial Fever Dream

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Souls Audition For Their Bodies In Sundance Hit 'Nine Days'

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