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

Scarlett Johansson arrives at the BAFTA Film Awards in London last year. She is suing Disney over the company's streaming release of the movie Black Widow at the same time as the theatrical release, which she said breached her contract and deprived her of potential earnings. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP hide caption

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Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Scarlett Johansson Is Suing Disney For Its Streaming Release Of 'Black Widow'

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'Ailey' Doc Shows How Alvin Ailey Changed The Landscape Of Dance For Dancers Of Color

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Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) in Bridgerton. Liam Daniel/Netflix hide caption

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Liam Daniel/Netflix

The Only 'New' Thing About Cross-Cultural Casting Is Who's Getting The Roles

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With Summer Underway, Marvel Returns To Focus On The Origins Of Black Widow

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'F9' Success Might Indicate Audiences Are Ready To Return To Theaters

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Christian Vázquez as Gerardo and Armando Espitia as Iván in I Carry You with Me. Alejandro Lopez Pineda/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Alejandro Lopez Pineda/Sony Pictures Classics

'I Carry You With Me' Blends Reality And Drama In A Wrenching Gay Love Story

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Review: 'F9' Puts The Pedal To The Metal To Restart The Hollywood Blockbuster

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From left, Russell and Ron Mael, who record as Sparks, photographed in 1982 during the cover shoot for their album Angst In My Pants. Eric Blum/Getty Images hide caption

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50 Years Of Sparks: The World Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Them

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'In The Heights' Box Office Fizzle May Indicate An Audience Seeking Familiar Faces

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'In The Heights' Leaps From Stage To Screen With Exuberance To Spare

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Summer Movie Season Roars Back, From Action-Packed Blockbusters To Biopics

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Movie Review: 'A Quiet Place Part II' Resonates

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Samuel E. Wright, Voice Of Sebastian The Crab In 'The Little Mermaid,' Has Died

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Charles Grodin, pictured in 2013, appeared in such movies as Rosemary's Baby, The Heartbreak Kid and Midnight Run. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP hide caption

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Charles Grodin, Star Of 'Beethoven' And 'Midnight Run,' Has Died At 86

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