Bob Mondello

Bob Mondello
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
65% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) The filmmakers have come up with a nifty, billowing fabric sequence to keep them apart while together, and that's enough to satisfy my urge to fact check, at least when the performances are as much fun as they are in "Mary Queen of Scots." ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
80% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) If you're looking for polish or sophistication from "Anna And The Apocalypse," you're chomping on the wrong neck. But the songs are bouncy, the performances fresh and the gore happily not in any way related to real life. You got to love that.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
97% Roma (2018) "Roma" had wrapped me in its spell that completely, it would be hard to imagine a more artful arthouse attraction.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
94% The Favourite (2018) A Restoration comedy filtered through this director's eccentric, modern sensibilities is what "The Favourite" most resembles - witty, profane, sexually explicit, improper in the extreme, a comedy of manners without any manners at all.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
90% Maria By Callas (2018) The film is unfailingly sympathetic to the diva at its center. It accepts her status as a legend and does its best to enhance it.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
62% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) As for Freddie Mercury, is this his real life? Is this just fantasy - not sure that really matters either. When Malek's strutting like a peacock, this movie is a decently amusing escape from reality. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
74% El Angel (El ángel) (2018) El Angel is sensuous enough to suggest the work of Pedro Almodovar.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
12% Deception (2008) When sex (and mystery) gives way to a multimillion-dollar heist (and explanations), the whole thing just gets silly. Sexy fun for a while, though.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
89% ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (2007) There's loads of talent on display (from puppets to Boy George), plus plenty of dish about them all. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
94% Wildlife (2018) "Wildlife's" portrait of family life is much like the director's many onscreen performances - understated, sad-eyed, deeply affecting.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
83% Monsters and Men (2018) A lesser movie might weave these threads into a narrative that exploits real-world parallels - viral social media, athletes who take a knee, cops who close ranks. "Monsters And Men" doesn't pander or dismiss.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
79% 22 July (2018) The result is that what starts out harrowing ends up affirming a portrait of a country that unites to make the tragedy of 22 July count for something - the strength of their national character.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
76% Mid90s (2018) The cast is mostly skaters, not actors, but they're persuasive as pals, and Hill is clearly having fun. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
75% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) The last shot had me choking back sobs.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) "Maybe the bond is stronger when you choose your family," says someone, and darned if the film doesn't make a good case for that notion. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
90% Girl (2018) Where most queer films are about external conflicts and prejudice, Lara's primary conflict in this movie is with what she sees in the mirror.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) As Israel, Melissa McCarthy is caustic, profane, curmudgeonly, affecting and very funny, as is Richard E. Grant as a gay alcoholic who becomes her accomplice.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
97% 13th (2016) In her documentary, 13th, Ava DuVernay cites the wording of the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude "except as a punishment for crime..." but DuVernay gives the argument enormous cinematic force. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
91% We the Animals (2018) Somehow... Zagar has found a way to let the film's scenes surface and recede the way memories do.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2018
87% Madeline's Madeline (2018) Helena Howard makes a heart-stopping professional debut as Madeline caught between Molly Parker's manipulative acting teacher and Miranda July's differently manipulative mom. ‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2018
95% BlacKkKlansman (2018) There's serious tension in BlackkKlansman's situation, and the film embraces the shifts in mood with shifts in filmmaking style that allow Lee to couch his arguments in a kind of shorthand history of Hollywood's treatment of race.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
86% The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) The director has enough faith in her audience to risk making all of the characters complicated, multifaceted and true-to-life.‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
86% The Captain (Der Hauptmann) (2018) Shooting in black and white, [Schwentke has] created an unnervingly persuasive portrait of deception gone haywire in a world gone mad.‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
89% Far From the Tree (2018) Enormously affecting.‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
76% What Will People Say? (Hva vil folk si) (2018) As the Norwegian snow gives way to sunbaked Pakistani desert on screen, you'll feel a tug between the awful and the artful‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
99% Eighth Grade (2018) "Eighth Grade" turns out to be an appealingly generous portrait of adolescent awkwardness, also of parental awkwardness, though Josh Hamilton's fumbling dad is a keeper.‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
94% Incredibles 2 (2018) I exaggerate not a bit when I say that parents will feel just as empowered while watching "Incredibles 2" as any child.‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
67% The Year of Spectacular Men (2018) For a film that marks both a screenwriting debut and a big screen directing debut, "The Year Of Spectacular Men" makes very few rookie mistakes, and the ones it does are easily outweighed by the snap of the dialogue.‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
68% Ocean's 8 (2018) Anne Hathaway makes Daphne Kluger's laugh just one of many annoying things about her, which makes taking advantage of her fun in a movie that's not just a gender switch on heist flicks but a nifty takedown of celebrity culture and the fashion world. ‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
88% American Animals (2018) Confusing? Not a bit. Writer/director Bart Layton employs all the tricks in the docufiction playbook...[to] create a uniquely tricky heist flick and he makes sure the audience can keep up. ‐ NPR's All Things Considered
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
83% Deadpool 2 (2018) Deadpool 2 is an R-rated, potty-mouthed splatterfest and a funny one.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Things do feel shaky at first, but there's spunk to [Alden] Ehrenreich's delivery and, once he settles in, a twinkle in his eye. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted May 15, 2018
86% Mountain (2018) Have to say that those who climb still strike me as mad, but Mountain let me hear the music.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
84% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Infinity War's place in the Avengers saga is much like that of the middle chapters in the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars: It's chief purpose is to leave you hungry for next summer's finale. And that much, it does. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
97% The Rider (2018) But as wrenching as The Rider can be at times, it's also suspenseful and beautiful - a modern-day Western with a hero who's a real discovery.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2018
95% Outside In (2018) [Lynn Shelton's] actors are always natural and unaffected, but in [Edie] Falco and [Jay] Duplass, she's found interpreters who seem to breathe her characters.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
72% Ready Player One (2018) The plot's not going to tax anyone over the age of 12, but Spielberg crams the screen with visuals eye-popping enough to make viewers not care . ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Director Ava DuVernay has a light touch with these early scenes, though she gets seriously bogged down in special effects as the film goes on. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2018
67% The Cured (2018) "The Cured" drops the politics to become a straight-up zombie flick not nearly as intriguing, though no doubt better for box office. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
60% The Young Karl Marx (Le jeune Karl Marx) (2018) And by the time Marx writes what his wife calls a...critique of the critical critique - well, my eyes glazing over at the dialectics, I for one needed an antidote. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
94% Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018) Director Zvyagintsev, who co-wrote the film, is intent on showing how calamity doesn't necessarily unite people - it can push them further apart.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
94% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) Someone who can navigate all that, and remain resilient, assertive, even charismatic? Yes - she's a fantastic woman.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2018
100% 27: El club de los malditos (2018) I don't want to overstate the case for 27: The Club Of The Damned. It's more goofy than brilliant, and with my limited understanding of Spanish, it possibly gained something from not being subtitled.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
88% The Post (2018) It's melodrama, but effective. ‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2017
83% Molly's Game (2018) Even though this is Sorkin's directing debut, quite a bit of the clarity comes from the visuals, annotated when necessary, precisely shot and edited with nearly every trick known to contemporary filmmaking.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2017
91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Nothing in "The Last Jedi" is allowed to be mundane, including the places the filmmakers take the story.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2017
89% I, Tonya (2018) Tonya's been a punching bag for everyone, including the public. And yes, the film implicates us in that. But her defiance grows with every heckle, including her mother's.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
91% The Disaster Artist (2017) [James] Franco has not just made a really sharp, funny movie about movie making. He's also made a layered and intimate portrait of a friendship with his own brother, Dave Franco.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2017
97% Coco (2017) The plot, arguably, comes packed with more complications and psychedelic spirit-critters than it really needs. But you can't blame Pixar's animators for having a field day with the film's imagery ...‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
91% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) One of the most invigorating black comedies Hollywood's come up with in years.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2017