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 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 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
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    Is “Star Trek” out of this world? “Ice Age” cold and old? “AbFab” darling? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FOX 4’s Russ Simmon and Shawn Edwards took a break from the heat and headed indoors to check out “Star Trek,” “Ice Age,” and “AbFab.” Watch the video above to find out which ones are worth seeing and which ones are worth skipping over.   1) STAR TREK BEYOND (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin helps the “Star Trek” franchise live long and prosper. He’s brought his action expertise to “Star Trek Beyond” and […]

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    Does “Batman v Superman” fly? “Miles Ahead” a leader? “Perfect Match” ideal? Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.   1) BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS The much-heralded superhero smack down has finally arrived. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is action-packed and visually striking. Problem is, it’s just not much fun.   Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill are more than adequate and the production is top-notch, but director Zach Snyder turns the story into a grim and brooding saga. While somewhat engaging, “Batman v Superman” lacks both the depth of the Dark Knight movies and […]

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    Does “Ghostbusters” get slimed? “The Infiltrator” worth investigating? These and more Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FOX 4 film critics Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards took a break from the heat of summer to check out some of Hollywood’s most talked about films of the summer. Watch the video above to find out what they thought. 1) GHOSTBUSTERS (PG-13) Sony Pictures RUSS When you wanna laugh, who you gonna call? Guess what all you misogynistic Gamergate internet trolls who were certain that an all-female version of “Ghostbusters” would be a disastrous rip-off…the new “Ghostbusters” […]

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    “The Infiltrator’s” Bryan Cranston talks about the responsibility of playing a nonfiction character

    U.S. Customs agent  Bob Mazur was the first to say, “Follow the Money,” when dealing with drug cartels. As an undercover agent, he did just that and helped bring down a money laundering empire. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons sat down with Bryan Cranston who portrays Mazur in the new thriller “The Infiltrator” to talk about the war on drugs overall. Watch the video above to hear Cranston’s thoughts and how the film tells the story. He also chats about the responsibilities […]

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    Should “The Secret Life of Pets” be kept secret ? “Mike and Dave” worth a date? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — An unexpectedly good week in the FOX 4 screening room. Watch the video above to find out why Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards are raving over this week’s films.   1) THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (PG) Universal   RUSS “Toy Story” showed us what toys did when their owners weren’t around. Ditto for Legos in “The Lego Movie.” The conceit should work for pets, too, and by golly it does in “The Secret Life of Pets.” SHAWN […]

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    Is “Whiskey” intoxicating? “Eye in the Sky” worth a look? “Panda” still bearable? Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —   1) WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (R) Paramount Pictures   RUSS Tina Fey plays real life foreign correspondent Kim Baker in “Whisky Tango Foxtrot,” an adaptation of Baker’s popular memoir about her decadent and darkly humorous experiences reporting from chaotic, war torn Afghanistan and Pakistan. While neither as funny or as riveting as it should be, Fey and company make it a mildly absorbing stranger-in-a-strange-land tale.   Shawn says: Not vintage Tina Fey. Funny at times but should have been funnier and […]

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    FOX 4 chats with the director of ‘The Legend of Tarzan’

    HOLLYWOOD — FOX 4’s Russ Simmons got to talk with David Yates, director of the new film “The Legend of Tarzan.” Yates, largely known for his work as director of the final four Harry Potter films and the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” discussed the film’s new take on Tarzan, a character that has been around since the black-and-white days of cinema. Yates talks about how new technology has allowed him to explore storytelling in new ways. […]

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    From the jungle to Antarctica, Tarzan actors name their most exotic trips

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    Is “Tarzan” worth going ape over? “The BFG” gigantic? “Purge 3” cathartic? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    1) THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (PG-13) Warner Bros. RUSS After 98 years and at least 48 cinematic adaptations, do we really need another big screen Tarzan? Hollywood thinks so. “The Legend of Tarzan” stars Alexander Skarsgård, Margo Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Chistoph Waltz and the story has a few unique twists. SHAWN Before I get started I just gotta know Russ. Who was out there asking for a new Tarzan movie? Seriously. But even before we go there I personally […]

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    Latest Tarzan film uses unique introduction to distinguish itself from others

    Hollywood has given us well over 40 Tarzan movies since the king of the jungle made his big screen debut in 1918. The latest version features a civilized English Tarzan reluctant to return to Africa. Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie and Samuel L. Jackson all star in the film. Fox 4’s Russ Simmons had the opportunity to chat with the stars of “The Legend of Tarzan” to find out what makes this installment diffident. Skarsgard says the film’s introduction is in […]

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    Is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” too much? “Midnight Special” especially good? Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo —   1) MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 (PG-13) Universal   RUSS It took Nia Vardalos 14 years to come up with a sequel to her smash hit romantic comedy, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Hardcore fans of the original may get some satisfaction out of seeing the wacky family reunion, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” However, it’s mostly an overly familiar retread.   The cast is appealing, but even Windex can’t clear up this muddled enterprise.   Shawn says a weak sequel with no focus […]

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    Are “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Free State of Jones” liberating? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the heat of summer, sometimes the best relief on a hot day is hitting the theater to check out Hollywood’s hottest titles. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has everything you need to know about “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Free State of Jones” if you plan to head to the theater over the weekend.   INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS “Independence Day: Resurgence” is a sequel to Will Smith’s 1996 hit sci-fi epic. Although the aliens […]