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Russ Simmons is an award-winning film critic who's 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 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday on Fox 4 News or 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 The Walt Bodine Show on KCUR-FM.

Simmons' work has been featured in "The View," " The New Times," "The Pitch," "eKC" 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" that airs on VH1.


Recent Articles
  • Reese Witherspoon on a journey in “Wild”

    Reese Witherspoon stars in a soul-searching drama based on the story of Cheryl Strayed, who hiked 1,000 miles up the Pacific Crest Trail. She took on the journey after her mother’s death with set in motion a number of other losses. Alone in the wild for 94 days, she faces her grief and rediscovers herself. FOX 4 film critic Russ Simmons sat down with Witherspoon to find out what she learned from Cheryl’s story.

  • “Hobbit” a ringer? “Annie” a hard-knock flick? “Museum” worth visiting” Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — FOX 4 film critics Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards review The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Annie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Wild. 1) THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (PG-13) Warner Brothers SHAWN A spectacular ending to the franchise. RUSS “The Hobbit” finale features all of the series’ strengths & weaknesses of the series…including the top-drawer eye candy and narrative padding. SHAWN Really didn’t want the movie to end. RUSS I often […]

  • Do “Ninja Turtles” have snap? “Maze Runner” puzzling? Popcorn Bag DVD reviews!

    TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (PG-13) Paramount RUSS While it feels like a mash-up of every genre cliché, this reboot of the 80s comic book franchise is action packed and has terrific special effects. It should please it’s demographic of 7 year olds and those looking for a little nostalgia. SHAWN says: Awful and forced. The tone is anti-playful. The execution worst than cold stale pizza. RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags SHAWN: 1 Popcorn Bag 2) THE MAZE RUNNER (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS: […]

  • Michael Keaton in "Birdman," the KC Film Critics' Best Film of 2014

    Kansas City Film Critics’ Circle names “Birdman” the best of 2014

    KANSAS CITY, Mo— The Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest organized critics group in the country, held their annual end-of-the-year award gathering this afternoon, with “Birdman” and “Boyhood” taking home the lion’s share of the major awards. This is the 48th year the group has awarded their annual James Loutzenhiser awards, named in honor of the group’s late founder. Members of the KCFCC are print, broadcast and web-based film critics with outlets in the metropolitan Kansas City area. Michael […]

  • Oliver!

    “Oliver!” is a Dickens of a show at Crown Center

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — “Who Will Buy” the sunny, upbeat musical version of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” the grim tale of an orphan raised in a wretched 1830s English workhouse? Fans of strong musical theater, that’s who. Musical Theater Heritage’s entertaining and drum-tight concert-style production is just the latest in a long line of competent adaptations the company has mounted at the Off Center Theater in Crown Center. Director Sarah Crawford has brought together a large ensemble of talented performers who […]

  • Is “Exodus” miraculous? Is “Top Five” tops? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS Did you know that God was a whiney 10-year-old boy with a British accent? That’s just one of the revelations in Ridley Scott’s bizarre miscalculation, “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” This revisionist look at the same Biblical territory covered by Cecil B. De Mille’s “The Ten Commandments” delivers some impressive spectacle, but also some laughable dialogue and oddball casting. European Christian Bale is Moses and Australian Joel Edgerton is Ramses, and they […]

  • “Guardians” worth watching over? “Dolphin Tale 2″ fishy? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures RUSS: The biggest box office hit of the year features a talking raccoon and a tree that sounds like Vin Diesel. Yes, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an odd comic book adaptation, but its idiosyncrasy a part of its considerable charm. Writer-director James Gunn’s irreverent attitude fits the material like a glove. Think “Men in Black” meets “Howard the Duck ” and you’ll get the feel. Zippy and engaging, “Guardians […]

  • Chris Rock and the cast of TOP FIVE tell Russ their top five comedians

    Chris Rock wrote, produced, directed and stars in “Top Five,” the tale of a comedian whose career begins to slip when he makes an attempt at drama. Things begin to change dramatically– and humorously– in his life when he grants an interview to a beautiful journalist, played by Rosario Dawson. Film critic Russ Simmons talked to the cast of TOP FIVE about their favorite comedians…. and as it turns out, there are thankfully plenty to make us laugh!

  • Is “The Homesman” worth leaving home for? Popcorn Bag review!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo— 1) THE HOMESMAN (R) Roadside Attractions RUSS: An alternate title for the bleak Western “The Homesman” could be, “Little Insane Asylum on the Prairie.” It would be hard to imagine a more dire look at the Old West than this dusty road movie. It paints a picture of the 1850s heartland as a living nightmare. Hillary Swank plays a plain spinster who can’t buy a husband. She agrees to take three mentally unbalanced women on a harsh […]

  • Do “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “As Above So Below” rise to the occasion? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS 2014 may go down as the “Year of the Superior Sequels,” disproving the notion that the originals are always better. The latest example is “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Not only is it better than the series reboot, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” it’s one of the best films of the year so far. And, no, I’m not kidding. Yes, it’s got spectacular […]

  • “Horrible Bosses 2″ horrible? “Theory” prove worthy? Does “Penguins” fly? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1. HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 (R) Warner Brothers RUSS KC Homeboy Jason Sudeikis re-teams with Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston for “Horrible Bosses 2,” the sequel to their bawdy 2011 hit. Instead of banding together to knock of their evil employers, Sudeikis, Bateman and Day conspire to kidnap the son of an investor who is trying to bankrupt their fledgling business. SHAWN “Horrible Bosses” was a pleasant surprise a couple of years ago. It was edgy funny, with somewhat […]

  • Is “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1″ for the birds? FOX 4 Popcorn Bags review!

    1) THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (PG-13) Lionsgate Russ: ”The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” could also have been titled, “The Setup.” That’s really all it is, a setup for the series finale, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” which will hit theaters next Thanksgiving, 2015. In a move to maximize the box office potential of this wildly popular franchise, the last book in the series has been padded out and expanded into two films…and, sadly, the […]