• Follow me on:

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
  • Screening Room: “Transformers” and “Chef”

    1) TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was one of the biggest box office hits of the summer. It was also the most overblown, over-produced and overlong movie of the season. The $165 million budget allowed director Michael Bay to splash the screen with all the extravagant 3-D spectacle his computer-generated imaging team could muster. While individual scenes are impressive, Bay has no idea of how to build momentum within a story arc, so […]

  • Is “The Equalizer” unbalanced? Are “The Boxtrolls” animated? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) THE EQUALIZER (R) In the popular 1980s TV series “The Equalizer,” British actor Edward Woodward played a retired secret agent who spent his golden years meting out brutal punishment on a variety of nasty criminals. The show tapped into the same vicarious vigilante bloodlust that viewers experienced from Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” movies. There’s probably not a better choice for the movie reboot than Denzel Washington. He adds a layer of gritty, steely assurance to the role of a […]

  • Maze Runner meandering? Does Tusk bite? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY,  Mo.— Four movies; two matches. Entertainment reporters Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards give their popcorn bag reviews for these four new films: 1) THE MAZE RUNNER (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS: The latest post-apocalyptic dystopian teen novel to be adapted to the big screen has teens forced to survive in an elaborate maze. It’s derivative, but well directed and involving. The fresh-faced newcomers on both sides of the camera deliver. SHAWN Please. Yes, the talent is fresh but […]

  • “Godzilla” invades our homes! Must be “The Fault in Our Stars.” Home Video reviews!

    Available at your local video store or for digital download on September 16th… 1) GODZILLA (PG-13) Warner Brothers RUSS Godzilla, the “King of the Monsters,” returns in a big budget extravaganza of destruction that plays like a WWE Smackdown on nuclear hormones. Bryan Cranston breaks bad as a physicist who sounds the warning bells years after a reactor meltdown. SHAWN There have been 29 Godzilla movies. This version is perhaps the best. Suspenseful and well executed. Loved the technical execution and the fair amount […]

  • Is “The Drop” worth dropping in for? “Dolphin Tale 2″ fishy? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) THE DROP (R) Fox Searchlight RUSS Moviegoers know the dark world of novelist Dennis Lahane from big screen adaptations of his works “Mystic River,” “Gone, Baby, Gone” and “Shutter Island.” “The Drop” is the latest journey into gloomy Lahane terrain, this time focusing on mob controlled money drops at low-end Brooklyn bars. SHAWN “The Drop” is a less than entertaining drama that’s intense and edgy. But offers very little emotional pay off with a story that isn’t cliche but […]

  • Screening Room Movies at Home: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Brick Mansions”

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Does the Marvel sequel machine score once again? Is Paul Walker’s swan song worth your time? Russ and Shawn give us the lowdown on movies available in video stores or for digital download on September 9th. 1) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures RUSS: Like a well-oiled and sophisticated machine manufactured by Stark Industries, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a slick and competent product, providing Marvel Comics fans with the action and eye candy they expect. Chris […]

  • Is “The Identical” more of the same? “Robin Hood” hit the bullseye? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    The faith-based movie “The Identical” is the only wide release this weekend. Does it look like more of the same? Shawn and Russ provide the scoop, along with reviews of “The Last of Robin Hood” and the 20th Anniversary re-release of “Forrest Gump.” Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news! What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here:  http://link.fox4kc.com/1fu5fMn Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

  • Are Labor Day weekend movies labored? Check out Popcorn Bag reviews!

    It’s the dog days of summer. The blockbusters opened earlier and the quality Oscar contenders will open later in the fall. What does that mean for current releases? Russ and Shawn cover Labor Day weekend titles like “Life After Beth,” “Life of Crime” and “As Above/So Below.” Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news! What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here:  http://link.fox4kc.com/1fu5fMn Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

  • Screening Room Movies at Home: “Divergent,” “Need for Speed,” “Oculus”

    Available at your local video store or for digital download on August 5th… 1) DIVERGENT (PG-13) Lionsgate/Summit RUSS “Divergent” is the latest young adult sci-fi novel to be adapted to the screen. Like “The Hunger Games,” it’s an action drama set in a dystopian future with society run by people whose priorities may not include the welfare of the masses. It’s not quite in the same cinematic league as “The Hunger Games,” but it’s a reasonably entertaining and well-produced cautionary […]

  • Popcorn Bag Reviews: “Guardians of the Galaxy, ” “Get On Up,” “Boyhood”

    1) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (PG-13) Walt Disney One of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer is the big screen adaptation of Marvel Comics’ “Guardians of the Galaxy.” We had three of our Fox 4 viewers, selected from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kansas City, serve as “Guest Critics” for this one. Thanks to Frank Trotta and his nephews Alex and Roman for covering it. Frank said, “I thought it had an interesting story. I would give it […]

  • Ernest-and-Celstine-2012-314x336 (1)

    CinemaKC Presents Free Animated Classics at Crown Center

    KANSAS CITY, MO. CinemaKC, a local non-profit organization that works to promote film and filmmaking in our community, will present a free month of feature-length animated movies geared for the entire family. The inaugural “KC Summer Animated Series” begins this Saturday, August 2nd at 10:30am at the Screenland Crown Center Theatres. The goal is to “introduce and reintroduce families and animation fans to classic and new animated cinema from here and abroad.” There’s the lineup for this summer’s festival: -August […]

  • Talking with the cast from WGN’s new show Manhattan

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A brand new series enters the world of deception and danger. It centers around one of the best-kept secrets of all time! “Manh(A)ttan” premieres this weekend. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons talks with the cast members about what the show means for contemporary viewers.