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Russ Simmons is an award-winning film critic whose work has been featured on television, in print and on the internet for nearly two decades.

Russ joined Shawn Edwards in Fox 4’s Screening Room in 2005. Since that time, he and Shawn have won the National Entertainment Journalism Award twice as “Best Television Film Critics,” awarded by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Simmons’ reviews can be seen on the “Screening Room” which airs regularly on Fox 4 News and archived at fox4kc.com. He also has a film review segment on KKFI-FM called “Freeze Frame” that airs several times per week, and appears regularly on Central Standard on KCUR-FM.

Simmons’ work has been featured in “The View,”” The New Times,””The Pitch,””eKC,” “The Sun” and http://www.kcactive.com. Simmons also worked for three years at the Sundance Institute’s Summer Theatre program. Along with Shawn Edwards, Simmons appeared on the Reelz Channel’s “Critics’ Choice Special.”

He is on the governing board of the Kansas City Film Critics’ Circle, one of the oldest associations of its kind in the country. Simmons is also an active member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, responsible for the yearly “Critics’ Choice Awards” which airs on A&E.


Recent Articles
  • “Maze Runner 3” puzzling? “Hostiles” inhospitable? “Bombshell” explosive? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sci-fi finale, a genre busting Western and a documentary about a unique movie star are all new for home viewing. Check these brief reviews by Russ and Shawn to help with your streaming choices!   1) MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (PG-13) 20th Century Fox   RUSS The final chapter in the “Maze Runner” saga “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” completes the dystopian sci-fi story about a bleak future affected by solar flares, disease, zombies and wicked pseudo-governmental agencies. Loud, busy and […]

  • Is Amy Schumer “Pretty?” Are we high on “Super Troopers 2?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Can R-rated standup comic Amy Schumer find PG-13 bliss? Check out Shawn and Russ as they cover her latest comedy and a sequel sixteen years in the making.   1) I FEEL PRETTY (PG-13) STXfilms   SHAWN We all struggle with self-esteem, Kanye West was just the first to admit it and then Amy Schumer made a movie about.   RUSS Amy Schumer takes on the issue of body image in the likable comic fantasy, “I Feel Pretty.” […]

  • Is “The Post” provocative? “The Commuter” go off the rails? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Shawn and Russ have VERY different takes on the new Steven Spielberg drama. Check out the reviews and decide if you’re a “Russ” or a “Shawn.”   1) THE POST (PG-13) 20th Century Fox   RUSS It’s hard to imagine a timelier movie about freedom of the press than “The Post.” Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star in Steven Spielberg’s riveting drama about the Washington Post’s behind the scenes struggles leading up to the publication of the Pentagon Papers in […]

  • Does “Rampage” Rock? “Beirut” worth visiting? “Truth or Dare” daring? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is The Rock solid? Russ and  Shawn let us know if Dwayne Johnson scores again…and if the other films opening today are worth your time.   1) RAMPAGE (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a knack for making a silk purse out of a cinematic sow’s ear. Can he do the same for the cursed video game genre? Maybe so. In “Rampage,” based on the Midway arcade game, Johnson plays a primatologist who has […]

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” really great? How about “Molly’s Game,” “All the Money in the World” and “Phantom Thread?” Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Are musicals really making a comeback? If Hugh Jackman has anything to say about it, the answer is “Yes!” Check out this week’s reviews before you start downloading! 1) THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (PG) 20th Century Fox   RUSS “The Greatest Showman” is a colorful, whimsical musical fable starring Hugh Jackman about circus founder, P.T. Barnum. There’s little that’s historically accurate here, but a talented cast and creative filmmaking add up to cinematic joy for fans of the genre. If you DON’T […]

  • Why was Emily Blunt was hesitant about working with her husband?

    Emily Blunt stars in her husband’s new movie “A Quiet Place.” In the video player above, she tells FOX4’s Shawn Edwards why she was hesitant to take the job at first. In “A Quiet Place” a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

  • Is “A Quiet Place” worth visiting? “Isle of Dogs” a mutt? “Blockers” blue? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY. Mo. — There are scares and laughs aplenty in this week’s Screening Room. Watch Shawn and Russ before you head to the theaters!   1) A QUIET PLACE (PG-13) Paramount Pictures   RUSS Originality in horror movies is a rare commodity. Director/star John Krasinski delivers something unique with the genuinely scary creepfest, “A Quiet Place.” It’s skillfully made and acted and truly frightening.   SHAWN “A Quiet Place” is the best horror movie since “Get Out.” Effectively scary. Cleverly executed. […]

  • Is “Father Figures” funny? “Jane” joyous? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A mindless comedy and a biographical documentary are new home video offerings this week. Check out which one Russ and Shawn recommend! 1) FATHER FIGURES (R) Warner Brothers SHAWN “Father Figures” is a mildly funny and mindless comedy. Yes, it’s lazy at times and often desperate for attention. I loved watching Katt Williams the most underrated funny person of our generation. SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags   2) JANE (PG) National Geographic RUSS Although she had no formal training, young Jane Goodall went into […]

  • Which movies best commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In recognition of Dr. King’s life, Russ and Shawn have each picked two movies that are informative and involving. There have been many documentaries and a handful of dramatic films made about Martin Luther King in the 50 years since his assassination. Here are our picks for movies to see that are informative and involving. Russ’ picks: 1) SELMA (PG-13) 2015 Paramount Who knew that a movie about events that took place in 1965 could be so timely? […]

  • Is “Ready Player One” a gamer? “Acrimony” harsh? “Loveless” lovable? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS  CITY, Mo. — Has Steven Spielberg regained his mojo? Has Tyler Perry found his? Don’t miss Russ/Shawn movie reviews! 1) READY PLAYER ONE (PG-13) Warner Brothers RUSS There probably isn’t a director better suited to adapting Ernest Cline’s pop novel “Ready Player One” for the big screen than Steven Spielberg. It’s the sort of visual-heavy sci-fi extravaganza that a lesser filmmaker would have made a complete mess of. Tye Sheridan stars as a kid who, in the dystopian future, plays a virtual […]

  • Are “The Last Jedi” and “Last Men in Aleppo?” the last straw? ” Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two films from opposite sides of the cinematic universe are now streaming. Shawn and Russ let us know if the latest in the “Star Wars” franchise and a harrowing war documentary are worth your time.   1) STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (PG-13) Walt Disney RUSS Is the Force with the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise? Yes. Packed with action, vitality, humor and pleasing familiarity, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is just what fans want. It’s impossible to talk about the plot […]

  • Is “Pacific Rim: Uprising” a downer? “Midnight Sun” illuminating? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will a big budget sequel prove to be a monster at the box office? Does it matter? Russ and Shawn give the lowdown on a Hollywood spectacle, a tear-jerking teen romance and a dark political satire, all new in theaters this week! 1) PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (PG-13) Universal RUSS Like the giant monsters and rock-‘em-sock-‘em robots it features, the $150 million spectacle “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is very big, very loud and very dopey. Unlike the 2013 original, this […]