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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 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
  • Chat with the Stars: Margot Robbie of “Focus”

    Nicky (Will Smith), a veteran con artist, takes a novice named Jess (Margot Robbie) under his wing. While Nicky teaches Jess the tricks of the trade, the pair become romantically involved; but, when Jess gets uncomfortably close, Nicky ends their relationship. Three years later, Nicky is in Buenos Aires working a very dangerous scheme when Jess — now an accomplished femme fatale — unexpectedly shows up. Her appearance throws Nicky for a loop at a time when he cannot afford […]

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    “The Book of Mormon” is a blasphemous blast

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — It’s a certainty that the LDS church elders in Salt Lake City never expected that a 2011 musical called “The Book of Mormon” would become a Broadway hit and take home nine Tony Awards including “Best Musical.” It’s also a certainty that they never expected it to be a profane and sacrilegious satire that ridicules their faith, mercilessly poking fun at their most sacred and enshrined beliefs. Oh well, that’s showbiz! Broadway Across America has finally brought the touring […]

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    Is “Big 6″ heroic? “Bosses” horrible? “Whiplash” Oscar worth? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 1) BIG HERO 6 (PG-13) Disney   RUSS: “Big Hero Six” is a zippy and charming animated Disney flick loosely based on the Marvel comic. A teen brainiac, his inflatable healthcare companion and some nerdy science students become unlikely crime-fighters when a masked villain threatens the city.   While plot points may be derivative, the execution is very fresh. If you loved, “The Incredibles,” then “Big Hero Six” is the animated adventure for you.   Shawn calls it, “…a creative and imaginative […]

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    Is “Hot Tub 2″ worth climbing into? “Song of the Sea” Oscar worthy? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 1) HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 (R) Paramount RUSS The ultra-raunchy comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” opened in 2010 to low expectations. It wound up taking in nearly $65 million at the box office. That can only mean one thing: “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.” Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke return as ethically challenged stoners who used their time traveling skills to become fabulously wealthy. But, when one of them is nearly murdered, they […]

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    Does “Birdman” soar? “The Interview” worth the hype? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo —   1) THE INTERVIEW (R) Sony Pictures RUSS The most controversial movie in recent memory nearly never made it to the screen…and that would have been a loss to no one. The comedy about two idiots trying to assassinate the leader of North Korea is now available on DVD. “The Interview” isn’t bad because it’s in gleefully bad taste. it’s bad because it isn’t very funny. If you want to see a funny political satire about North Korea […]

  • 50 shades

    Screening room: “Fifty Shades of Grey” colorful? “Kingsman” regal? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    Kansas City, MO — 1) FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (R) Focus Features RUSS The big screen adaptation of E.L. James’ kinky S&M bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey” finally hits theaters and the result is a resounding…’meh.’ One of the year’s most highly anticipated films isn’t bad enough to be campy fun and is about as erotic as a cold shower. Dakota Johnson’s beguiling performance as the naive Anastasia Steele is the only thing this movie has going for it. Jamie […]

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    Is “Nightcrawler” worth waking up for? “Alexander” horrible? “Rosewater” all wet? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo —   1) NIGHTCRAWLER (R) Open Road Films   RUSS Jake Gyllenhaal gives a menacing performance in the dark and disconcerting thriller, “Nightcrawler.” Gyllenhaal plays a disturbed and creepy freelance cameraman who sells grisly crime and accident footage to local news stations thirsty for ratings. When things aren’t violent enough, Jake’s sociopathic character begins taking matters into his own hands.   SHAWN Dark is challenging and poignant. “Nightcrawler” is a small movie that that handles the weightiness of its big […]

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    Does “Jupiter Ascending” descend? “SpongeBob” all wet? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    Kansas City, MO —   1. JUPITER ASCENDING (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS Filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski certainly have a flair for the visual. After all, they gave us “The Matrix” trilogy and “Cloud Atlas.” Their latest big budget sci-fi entry, “Jupiter Ascending,” looks amazing on the big screen. It’s too bad that their story is a spacey jumble.   SHAWN No the story is flat out stupid but it is a joy to watch. It’s a visual stunner but […]

  • Courtesy: Sony Classics

    Coming to KC at last: ‘Still Alice’ about professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Families in the Kansas City area affected by Alzheimer’s disease and awaiting the release of the new movie “Still Alice” will soon be able to see the film near their homes. “Still Alice” starring Julianne Moore opened in select theaters around the country on January 16. It comes to the Kansas City area on February 13, showing at the AMC Studio 30, AMC Barrywoods 24,  AMC Independence Commons 20, AMC Town Center 20, Cinemark Palace on the Plaza […]

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    Does “John Wick” light it up? Does “Dracula” have bite? “Ouiji” predictable? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — JOHN WICK (R) LionsGate Entertainment RUSS If you want your movie to be packed with action, why not have a stuntman direct it? That’s was what Keanu Reeves’ decided when he got the script for “John Wick,” a brutally violent R-rated shoot-‘em-up about a retired hit man drawn back into the game by Russian mobsters who’ve wronged him. SHAWN Keanu Reeves is the best he’s been since ‘The Matrix.’ Directed with skill by Keanu’s ‘Matrix’ stunt double, ‘John […]

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    Is “A Most Violent Year” the most? “Black or White” colorful? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    Kansas City, MO —  A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (R) RUSS Fans of the dark crime dramas of the 70s and 80s will gravitate to the morally ambiguous thriller, “A Most Violent Year.” Oscar Isaac plays an immigrant businessman who tries to fend off the influence of the mob in 80s New York. Jessica Chastain is his tough-as-nails and not altogether honest wife.   SHAWN “A Most Violent Year” is as sophisticated as it is slow and deliberate. It’s well executed and […]

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    Is “Fury” infuriating? What’s the verdict on “The Judge?” Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — 1) FURY (R) Sony Pictures   RUSS War is heck. And if you needed further evidence, there’s the Brad Pitt WWII drama, “Fury.” In this ultra-violent action flick, Pitt plays an emotionally hardened Army sergeant leading a 5-man Sherman tank crew deep into Nazi Germany during the waning days of the war. SHAWN “Fury” is well done and the action sequences are dynamite. The tank battles alone make this movie watchable. But the best moments happen when the […]