• Follow me on:

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
  • Is “Justice League” super? “Wonder” wonderful? “Lady Bird” fly? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — DC Comics launches its highly anticipated superhero franchise. A kids’ bestseller comes to life. An indie coming-of-age flick makes waves. Don’t miss Shawn and Russ as they break down this week’s cinematic releases!   1) JUSTICE LEAGUE (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s “The Avengers!” Er, no, it’s “Justice League.” The DC cinematic universe plays catch up with Marvel by finally getting its superhero coalition to the big screen.   SHAWN “Justice […]

  • Is ‘Atomic Blonde’ bland? ‘Brigsby’ bearable? ‘Wind River’ smooth sailing? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — A comic book adaptation, an offbeat comedy and a Sundance Film Festival favorite are new in video stores or for home streaming. Check out Shawn and Russ as they take on the new titles. 1) ATOMIC BLONDE (R) Focus Features RUSS The provocative Charlize Theron and some smashing fight choreography provide a potent one-two punch for “Atomic Blonde,” an ultra-violent adaptation of a popular graphic novel. This celebration of sex and violence works in spite of its herky-jerky pace […]

  • Is ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ a killer? ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ and ‘The Florida Project’ reviews

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Do this week’s movies go off the rails? Don’t hit the theaters before checking out Shawn and Russ as they cover a murder mystery, a goofy comedy and an acclaimed art house drama. 1) MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS Kenneth Branagh’s take on the classic Agatha Christie whodunit “Murder on the Orient Express” is like its namesake: Luxurious, workmanlike…and just a bit stodgy. Branagh plays detective Hercule Poirot who is pressed into service […]

  • FOX 4 chats with stars of “Goodbye Christopher Robin”

    FOX 4 film critic Russ Simmons got a chance to chat with the stars of the new film “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” The film stars Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Tilston as the young Christopher Robin. IMDB describes the film as a “behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.” Watch the trailer below:

  • A holiday or a headache? Russ chats with the stars of “A Bad Mom’s Christmas!”

    Fox 4’s Russ Simmons traveled to Chicago to chat with the cast members of “A Bad Moms Christmas,” the sequel to the 2016 comedy hit “Bad Moms” that raked in over $180 million at the box office. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn had a bit too much fun on set.

  • Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn sweated it out in steamy Atlanta to film a Christmas movie

    Fox 4’s Russ Simmons traveled to Chicago to chat with the stars of “A Bad Moms Christmas.” Although the movie takes place in Chicago in December, it was shot in Atlanta in the summer. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn share their stories about the special challenges involved.

  • Is the new “Thor” Marvelous? Anything good about “A Bad Mom’s Christmas?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is the world ready for a funny “Thor?” How about funny grandmas? Russ and Shawn cover the latest Hollywood offerings. 1) THOR: RAGNAROK (PG-13) Walt Disney Is the third time the charm for Thor? The latest installment in the Marvel Universe to have the God of Thunder front and center is indeed the best of the three. A goofy, tongue-in-cheek action adventure that relies a lot on quirky comedy, “Thor: Ragnarok” is an eye-popping extravaganza that should please […]

  • Is “Goodbye Christopher Robin” worth greeting? “Suburbicon?” “Thank You for Your Service?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Can a movie about the creator of Winnie the Pooh score with skeptical moviegoers? How about the latest from George Clooney and a drama about returning war veterans? Check out the reviews from Shawn and Russ before heading to the theater!   1) GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (PG) Fox Searchlight RUSS The troubled relationship between Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne and his son is at the heart of the low-key drama, “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie […]

  • The 17th Annual Kansas International Film Festival -November 3-9!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Join the 17th Annual Kansas International Film Festival for a celebration of studio and independent films as we travel to each continent in deep pursuit of culture. The festival features 190 films from 31 countries with over 40 filmmakers attending the event. KIFF delivers Excitement, Intrigue, and Adventure and all the exploration you need as we take you “Around the World in Seven Days.” In addition to the movies, be whisked away to Scotland, Brazil, India and […]

  • Margot Robbie plays the restless wife of “Winnie the Pooh” author A.A. Milne in the new biopic, “Goodbye Christopher Robin”

    Fox 4’s Russ Simmons traveled to London to chat with one of the fastest rising stars in filmdom, Margot Robbie. Recently named by Time Magazine as one of the year’s most influential people, Robbie has made a lasting impression with varied roles from “Suicide Squad” to “The Wolf of Wall Street.” She tells Russ about her role as the mother of Christopher Robin in “Goodbye Christopher Robin” and what it’s like to be “influential.”

  • “War for the Planet of the Apes” worth fighting for? How about “Emoji,” “An Inconvenient Sequel” and “Annabelle 2?” Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Are any of the new streaming options worth your time? Shawn and Russ think so! Check out home video reviews to go ape over.   1) WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS I’m not monkeying around. The third installment in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise reboot, “War for the Planet of the Apes,” is a visually spectacular and riveting drama. SHAWN This franchise has amazingly gotten better with each film — both the technology and storytelling and “War for the […]

  • Is “The Snowman” ice cold? How about “Only the Brave,” “Mark Felt” and Madea’s “Boo 2?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo —   Can a grisly mystery, a story of heroism, a biopic or the latest from Tyler Perry get you to the theater this week? Check her with Russ and Shawn before you spend your hard earned money!   1) THE SNOWMAN (R) Universal   RUSS With a great cast, bestselling source material and acclaimed filmmakers in command, the serial killer mystery “The Snowman” should have been a solid thriller. Sadly, it’s an icy misfire.   SHAWN The execution […]