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
  • Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried reveal whether they want their obituaries to say

    It’s been more than 30 years since Shirley MacLaine won an Oscar for her role in “Terms of Endearment.” Now she’s starring alongside Amanda Seyfried in “The Last Word.” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons chats with the two about whether they’d really leave their obituary to chance. Fun fact Seyfried fell in love with her “The Last Word” co-star Thomas Sadoski and is expecting their first child any day now. “The Last Word” opened in theaters March 3, 2017.

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews : Sing, Live By Night, Miss Sloane and Assassin’s Creed

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Sing” worth crooning about? What about “Live By Night,” “Miss Sloane” and “Assassin’s Creed?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) SING (PG) Universal RUSS If you like “American Idol” and animated comedy “Sing” is for you. Smart, tune-filled and light-hearted, “Sing” isn’t up to the standards of other animated releases we’ve seen recently, but it’s awfully hard to dislike. SHAWN “Sing” is fantastic. Not […]

  • Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews: Beauty and the Beast and Sense of an Ending

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is the new “Beauty” a “Beast?” “Sense of an Ending” a sensible choice? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews! 1) BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG) Walt Disney RUSS It’s a tale as old as time, but when Disney goes back to the well it’s usually worth the trip. The 1991 animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” gets a rousing ‘live-action’ reboot, although I use the term “Live-action” loosely […]

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews: Passengers, Fences, Collateral Beauty and Elle

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Passengers” worth boarding? How about “Fences,” “Collateral Beauty” and “Elle?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) PASSENGERS (PG-13)Columbia Pictures Two very likable stars get lost in space in the well-produced romantic sci-fi drama, “Passengers.” Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt play people on a 120-year space voyage when their hibernation pods awaken them 90 years too soon. Even these strong personalities can’t quite overcome some of the story’s misguided elements. Shawn says, […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Kong and The Ottoman Lieutenant

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Kong” still king? “The Ottoman Lieutenant” worth going ape over? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has seen them both and shares his thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) KONG: SKULL ISLAND (PG-13) Universal There are those who may think that Hollywood has given us way too many giant monster movies already. But I felt like a giddy kid at an old-time Saturday matinee when I saw “Kong: Skull Island.” This action-packed fantasy adventure employs eye-popping state […]

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews: Moana, Jackie and The Eyes of My Mother

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Does “Moana” stay afloat? What about “Jackie” and “The Eyes of My Mother?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) MOANA (PG)Walt Disney RUSS “Moana” is throwback Disney, yet another fantastical fairy tale, but this time set in ancient Polynesia. A spunky island girl goes on an oceanic adventure with a demigod in order to return a god’s heart and save her dying homeland. RUSS The […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Logan, Table 19 and The Salesman

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Does “Logan” have bite? “Table 19” worth a sit down? Are we sold on “The Salesman?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmon and Shawn Edwards weigh in for this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) LOGAN (R) 20th Century Fox RUSS In what is being touted as his final big-screen appearance as “Logan,” aka Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is back as a tired, aging and worn out mutant, a far cry from his glory days with X-Men. RUSS This R-rated, ultra […]

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews: Moonlight, Dr. Strange, Allied and Rules Don’t Apply

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Moonlight” illuminating? “Dr. Strange” too strange? What about “Allied” and “Rules Don’t Apply?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) MOONLIGHT (R) A24 RUSS “Moonlight,” featuring Kansas City, Kansas native Janelle Monea, is one of the most acclaimed movies of the year. Told in three parts “Moonlight” is the story of a black man in search of himself, his sexuality and place in the world while trying […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Get Out, United Kingdom and I Am Not Your Negro

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Get Out” worth getting out for? How about “United Kingdom” and “I Am Not Your Negro?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) GET OUT (R) Universal RUSS Comic Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame makes his directorial debut with a surprisingly effective, full-blooded horror film, “Get Out.” Daniel Kaluuya plays a young black photographer who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents in rural suburbia, where […]

  • Stars of “A United Kingdom” reveal whether actors have to “fall in love a little bit” to make characters believable

    David Oyelowo from “Selma” and Rosamund Pike from “Gone Girl” star in the true historical romance “A United Kingdom.” Oyelowo plays the to the throne of Botswana who creates international chaos in 1947 when he takes a white, British wife, played by Pike. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons sat down with the two to learn whether actors have to “fall in love a little bit” with their co-stars in order to make their characters believable. “A United Kingdom” opens in theaters in Kansas […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Fist Fight, The Great Wall and A Cure for Wellness

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Fist Fight” a champ? “The Great Wall” great? “A Cure for Wellness” sickening? Popcorn Bag movie reviews! FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts. 1) FIST FIGHT (R) Warner Brothers RUSS Yet again, Hollywood mistakes vulgarity for wit. Charlie Day and Ice Cube star in “Fist Fight,” an R-rated comedy about a wimpy teacher challenged to an after school brawl by a testy fellow educator. SHAWN Nothing worst than a non-funny and exhausting comedy. […]

  • Popcorn Bag home video reviews: Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester and Nocturnal Animals

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Does “Hacksaw Ridge” cut it? “Manchester” see-worthy? “Nocturnal Animals” scruffy? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards rate these three films in this week’s Popcorn Bag home video reviews. 1) HACKSAW RIDGE (R) Summit Entertainment RUSS “Hacksaw Ridge” is an outstanding WWII film based on a remarkable true story. Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Ross, a contentious objector who enlisted, became an Army medic and saved the lives of 75 soldiers during horrific battles on the island of Okinawa. SHAWN Mel Gibson […]