Bob Mondello

Bob Mondello

Agrees with the Tomatometer 84% of the time.

Publications:
NPR , NPR.org
Total Reviews:
426

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 426
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
92% Birdman (2014) " [The] full title is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), but rest assured, the more you know, the more fun it'll be. " ‐ NPR
Posted Oct 17, 2014
7/10 88% Gone Girl (2014) " In the film's final stages [Fincher] seems to be relying entirely on craft - but, boy, is it effective craft. " ‐ NPR
Posted Oct 3, 2014
93% Pride (2014) " The film's high spirits are genuinely infectious. And it says something that 30 years after the events it depicts, Pride should feel so unexpectedly rousing. " ‐ NPR
Posted Sep 26, 2014
8/10 86% The Trip To Italy (2014) " I'd follow these guys "'round the horn" in a second. Maybe that's where they'll head next time. " ‐ NPR
Posted Aug 15, 2014
8/10 94% The Dog (2014) " It'll leave you alternately amused and slack-jawed in astonishment. " ‐ NPR
Posted Aug 8, 2014
9/10 89% Calvary (2014) " Calvary is bleak and corrosively funny in about equal measure. " ‐ NPR
Posted Aug 1, 2014
10/10 99% Boyhood (2014) " The film gives every appearance of happening exactly the way life does, And exactly the way life does, it makes you care. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jul 11, 2014
7.5/10 91% Venus in Fur (2014) " Roman Polanski's been making films about psycho-sexual mind games for decades, and when his opening shot poses his stage director next to a very phallic cactus, you know he's at it again. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 20, 2014
7/10 53% Jersey Boys (2014) " "Eastwood's got a feel for music (he composed the scores for most of his recent films). But he doesn't have a particular flair for musical staging." " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 20, 2014
7.5/10 84% 22 Jump Street (2014) " Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who are themselves impressive partners at this point) know enough not to mess with a successful formula. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 13, 2014
8.5/10 92% How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) " It's clear that [director Dean DeBlois] took inspiration from the first Star Wars trilogy - not a bad model for breathing new life, and yes, a bit of fire, into one of Hollywood's more nuanced animated franchises. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 13, 2014
7.5/10 76% Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2014) " Not that 'Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon' is likely to do the kind of business most Myers movies do ... but it's competent enough to suggest the filmmaker has more arrows in his quiver than 'yeah, baby.' " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 6, 2014
63% Filth (2014) " Credit the filmmakers with descending persuasively into the swampy squalor of a diseased mind. If you're in the mood to go there with them, Filth offers an indecently bracing wallow. " ‐ NPR
Posted May 30, 2014
7.5/10 92% X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) " Quicksilver ... is the coolest of this picture's new guys, zipping around so fast ... that he can taste soup, rearrange guards' limbs, and nudge bullets off their trajectories all in the time it takes to blink. " ‐ NPR
Posted May 23, 2014
6.5/10 73% Godzilla (2014) " We're here to see the film's leading lizard, who is pretty gorgeously realized by an army of digitizers, even if he seems just a bit-player in his own movie for the first hour or so. " ‐ NPR
Posted May 16, 2014
8.5/10 82% The Double (2014) " This workplace-as-hellscape is not new territory, exactly - the story's based on Dostoevsky, plays like Kafka, and looks like an Orwellian nightmare. But who'd complain, since it lets Jesse Eisenberg offer what amounts to an acting master-class. " ‐ NPR
Posted May 9, 2014
83% Belle (2014) " It's smartly acted, handsome, and well-crafted in a way that'll make it irresistible to the Merchant-Ivory/Masterpiece Theater set - think pride, with a whole lot of prejudice. " ‐ NPR
Posted May 2, 2014
8.5/10 73% Young & Beautiful (Jeune Et Jolie) (2014) " Vacth is persuasively adolescent at the outset, distressingly jaded at the finale, and in between, is entirely capable of making young-and-beautiful sex seem - as perhaps only the French can - ravishing, sensual and utterly unsatisfying all at once. " ‐ NPR
Posted Apr 25, 2014
8/10 73% The German Doctor (2014) " 'The German Doctor' is never showy or melodramatic - just a kind of true-life horror story about the helpful, soft-spoken monster in our midst. " ‐ NPR
Posted Apr 25, 2014
8/10 54% Fading Gigolo (2014) " Turturro's direction owes a little something to Spike Lee, and a lot to Woody Allen. " ‐ NPR
Posted Apr 18, 2014
85% Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) " A vampire flick as only Jim Jarmusch would ever conceive it, languidly poetic, worldweary and crammed with hipster in-jokes. " ‐ NPR
Posted Apr 11, 2014
86% Joe (2014) " For Nicolas Cage, whose dumb, rant-for-hire projects have lately been making audiences forget how good he can be, Joe is more than a rescue - it's a re-birth. " ‐ NPR
Posted Apr 11, 2014
7.5/10 88% Alan Partridge (2014) " Ron Burgundy, eat your heart out. " ‐ NPR
Posted Apr 7, 2014
7/10 77% Noah (2014) " Darren Aronofsky's film about the Old Testament shipbuilder has been sparking controversy - but there's no denying that the Great Flood, digitized, is a pretty great flood. " ‐ NPR
Posted Mar 28, 2014
75% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) " The most shocking thing about the film is that it often prompts laughs. " ‐ NPR
Posted Mar 23, 2014
89% Le Week-End (2014) " Since it's Broadbent, Duncan and Goldblum doing the skipping, trashing and mimicking, their second adolescence is great fun to watch. " ‐ NPR
Posted Mar 13, 2014
96% The Lunchbox (2014) " The Lunchbox is a first feature for director Ritesh Batra, but it nicely captures the almost overwhelming crush and noise of contemporary India, and it plays cleverly and delicately with the tension of whether its two correspondents might eventually meet. " ‐ NPR
Posted Feb 27, 2014
79% Bethlehem (2014) " Bethlehem qualifies as a promising debut for its first-time actors and director, but it's slack at first, and the thriller tricks it uses to ratchet up the tension later ... keep it from sneaking past your defenses. " ‐ NPR
Posted Feb 20, 2014
91% Omar (2014) " It's the sort of film that feels so authentic that even knowing it's a fiction, the morning after seeing it, I found myself scanning headlines to see if there were any new developments. " ‐ NPR
Posted Feb 20, 2014
31% The Monuments Men (2014) " There's lots of information, some nice images, plenty of earnest sermonizing about culture and almost no suspense, or tension, or character development, or structure. Or, well, art. " ‐ NPR
Posted Feb 6, 2014
94% Stranger by the Lake (2014) " A psychosexually intriguing blend of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and William Friedkin's Cruising ... " ‐ NPR
Posted Jan 23, 2014
100% Six By Sondheim " Countless backstage stories, culled mostly from interviews and archival footage, are assembled in Six by Sondheim into the story of a life - and a life's work. " ‐ NPR
Posted Dec 5, 2013
89% Tim's Vermeer (2014) " The process of putting those three-dimensional objects on canvas in natural light is so fascinating that no one's going to make jokes about watching paint dry - though at one point the film is literally about watching paint dry. And then applying varnish. " ‐ NPR
Posted Dec 5, 2013
89% Frozen (2013) " Unlike in many animated movies, the borrowings aren't so much in-jokey as structural. Homages, of a sort, and fun to spot. " ‐ NPR
Posted Nov 26, 2013
92% Philomena (2013) " Matched recovery stories: How's that for human interest? " ‐ NPR
Posted Nov 21, 2013
89% The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) " Given the strength of this installment, I'd say the box-office odds continue to be, in that Hunger Games catchphrase, "ever in its favor." " ‐ NPR
Posted Nov 21, 2013
92% Nebraska (2013) " Woody Grant could have stepped straight out of Grant Wood's painting American Gothic. His story, too: crusty old coot from a dying farm town, looking for Meaning at the end of a life that may not have had one. " ‐ NPR
Posted Nov 13, 2013
93% Dallas Buyers Club (2013) " Dallas Buyers Club is just about a selfish boor who arguably gets a pass in terms of posterity, because while looking out for No. 1, he paved the way for change for everyone else. " ‐ NPR
Posted Nov 1, 2013
97% 12 Years a Slave (2013) " It is Ejiofor - bewildered, sorely tested, morally towering - whose staggered dignity anchors the film. " ‐ NPR
Posted Oct 18, 2013
93% Captain Phillips (2013) " Hanks and Abdi are so compellingly matched that unlike with most thrillers, it won't be the action climax in Captain Phillips that'll stick with you. It'll be that aftermath, which gets at the emotional toll of terrorism in a way few movies have. " ‐ NPR
Posted Oct 10, 2013
97% Gravity (2013) " Doctoral theses will be penned on the breath-catchingly realistic, gorgeously choreographed, entirely mesmerizing opening ... " ‐ NPR
Posted Oct 4, 2013
81% Don Jon (2013) " Gordon-Levitt keeps things riotous for the film's first hour, and if he eases into an ending that's a little Hollywood-standard, after having so much fun tweaking form and content, I'm guessing audiences will cut him some slack. " ‐ NPR
Posted Sep 26, 2013
99% Short Term 12 (2013) " The film is a quiet sensation. " ‐ NPR
Posted Aug 22, 2013
95% The Act Of Killing (2013) " It's a virtually unprecedented social document. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jul 18, 2013
93% The Hunt (2013) " This story is about a witch hunt, an accusation of impropriety that takes on a life of its own, shattering bonds of trust in a close-knit community. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jul 11, 2013
94% Fruitvale Station (2013) " Together, star and director get you to look at, and think about, a flawed young man you might not give a second thought if you saw him on the street. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jul 11, 2013
31% The Lone Ranger (2013) NPR.org
Posted Jul 4, 2013
31% The Lone Ranger (2013) " There's a couple of hundred million dollars' worth of technical wizardry up there on screen, and nothing is at stake. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jul 2, 2013
68% World War Z (2013) " Whatever problems World War Z encountered in its making, the movie has made it to theaters not dead on arrival, but walking dead, running dead, and - when it's really working - swarming dead. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 21, 2013
78% Monsters University (2013) " What hasn't advanced is the plotting, which was nothing special last time and is so formulaic now that it's basically surprise-free. " ‐ NPR
Posted Jun 21, 2013
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