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."

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Making Fun Of The Rich Is A British Comedy Tradition Honored In 'Greed'

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'Sonic The Hedgehog' Zooms Ahead At Box Office — A Surprise To Some

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Musicians perform a song from Slumdog Millionaire during the 81st Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22, 2009, in Hollywood, Calif. The film won 8 Oscars including Best Picture that year — and had box office returns to show for it. Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

In An Age Of Streaming, 'Oscar Bounce' At The Box Office Is ... Less Bouncy

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An Oscar statue is seen during the 2020 Oscars Nominees Luncheon at the Dolby Theatre. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

2020 Oscars Preview: Who Will Win And Who Should Win

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Kirk Douglas, Last Great Movie Star Of His Generation, Dies At 103

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Actor Kirk Douglas, shown above at 39, was born Issur Danielovitch in New York to Russian-Jewish parents. He would later tell his own children that they didn't have his "advantage of being born into abject poverty." Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Tough Guy And 'Spartacus' Superstar, Dies At 103

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Encore: Pondering A Genderless Oscar Telecast

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Encore: The Iowa Caucuses Explained ... By Broadway?

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'Weathering With You' Is The Latest Anime From Makoto Shinkai

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Breaking Down The Oscar Nominations

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George MacKay as Lance Corporal Schofield in the film 1917. Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures hide caption

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Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures

France Has Nominated 'Les Misérables' To The Oscars — No, Not That One

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Encore: '1917' Review

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