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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    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 […]

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    Is “Finding Dory” all wet? “Central Intelligence” dumb? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    1) FINDING DORY (PG) Pixar RUSS It’s taken Pixar 13 years to come up with a sequel to the smash animated hit, “Finding Nemo.” But even after all these years, this fish is still fresh. Ellen DeGeneres again provides the voice for the forgetful blue tang in the high seas adventure, “Finding Dory.” SHAWN “Finding Dory” is more fun than it is good. That’s no knock. “Finding Dory’ is terrific movie. It’s just not a great movie. But the Pixar bar is […]

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    “10 Cloverfield Lane” worth addressing? “Eddie the Eagle,” “London Has Fallen’ & “Doris,” too. Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It wasn’t a great week, but it also wasn’t a terrible week for the FOX 4 film critics. According to Russ and Shawn, things were pretty average. Watch the video above or keep reading for their thoughts on “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “Eddie the Eagle,” “London Has Fallen,” and “Doris.”   1) 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (PG-13) Paramount RUSS Back in 2008, producer J.J. Abrams surprised audiences with a nifty sci-fi opus called, cryptically, “Cloverfield.” It arrived out of nowhere and […]

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    Does “The Conjuring 2” conjure fright? “Now You See Me 2” worth seeing? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Summer is often the time Hollywood’s greatest films hit theaters, but FOX 4 film critic Russ Simmons says he hopes this week’s release are not the best he sees all summer.   1) THE CONJURING 2 (R) Warner Brothers RUSS If director James Wan had worked in the Golden Age of Hollywood, he might have made musicals. His camera work is more like choreography than direction. But it’s that showy style that makes his horror entry “The Conjuring […]


    MTH’s “Big River” catches a rousing musical wave

    KANSAS CITY, Mo—   The late Country singer Roger Miller was best known for his hit comic tunes like “Dang Me” and “King of the Road.” But his greatest achievement occurred a long way from Nashville.   “Big River,” Miller’s musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” became a Broadway smash in 1985, winning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical (William Hauptman).   The reasons for its success […]

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    “Zootopia” Utopian? “13 Hours” worth the time? “Hail, Caesar!” regal? “Anomalisa” an anomaly? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —   1) ZOOTOPIA (PG) Walt Disney   RUSS With a name like “Zootopia,” you might expect a cute Disney animated flick about anthropomorphic animals. And while you’d be right, “Zootopia” is much, much more. It’s a wildly imaginative, beautifully animated comic crime noir thriller.   SHAWN Seriously, “Zootopia” is genius. The combination of terrific storytelling and knock-your-socks-off animation makes for an instant Disney classic. So beautifully told, creatively dense and fun you automatically want to watch multiple times.   […]

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    “Me Before You” a winning weepie? “Ninja Turtles” shell shocked? “Popstar” in vogue? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From laughs to tears, the FOX 4 film critics have the latest on Hollywood’s newest releases.   1) ME BEFORE YOU (PG-13) Warner Brothers RUSS So, can the Mother of Dragons become the Queen of Weepies? “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke takes on the lead role in the four-hankie romantic drama “Me Before You” and her sparkling performance is the best thing about the emotionally manipulative big screen adaptation of the popular novel. SHAWN “Me Before You” […]

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    Is “Race” a contender? “Gods of Egypt” heavenly? “Triple 9” fine? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —   1) RACE (PG-13) Focus Features   Kansas City’s Jason Sudeikis and newcomer Stephan James star in the sports drama, “Race.” James plays Olympic great Jesse Owens who electrified the world during the 1936 Berlin games that were supposed to prove Hitler’s theory of Aryan superiority. Sudeikis is Owens’ hard-drinking coach.   This handsome-looking film hoped to do the same thing that “42” did for Jackie Robinson’s story, focusing on a great sportsman’s dignity in the face of […]

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    Is “Alice Through the Looking Glass” worth a look? “X-Men: Apocalypse” cataclysmic? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neither of this week’s releases live up to the FOX 4 film critics’ standards. Read on or watch the video above to find out why.   1) ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (PG) Walt Disney Pictures In 2010, Disney’s live action adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” took in over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The inevitable sequel as all of the eye-popping opulence and artful design elements of the original, but, I’m sorry to say, little […]

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    Is “The Finest Hours” all wet? What about “How to be Single,” “Risen” and “Zoolander 2?” Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On May, 23 “The Finest Hours,” “How to be Single,” “Risen” and “Zoolander 2”  are all available on home video, but the FOX 4 film critics, Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards, say they may not be worth rushing out to get.   1) THE FINEST HOURS (PG-13) Walt Disney After watching the latest disaster epic from the folks at Disney, you may feel the urgent need to towel off. Set in 1952, “The Finest Hours” is based on the heroic true story of one of the Coast Guard’s most celebrated […]

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    FOX 4 chats with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, stars of The Nice Guys

    FOX 4’s Russ Simmons got to chat with mega-stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, stars of the upcoming comedy “The Nice Guys,” which centers on a mismatched pair of private eyes investigating the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles. The film delivers action and comedy in a noir-style throwback, and is garnering rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.

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    “Angry Birds” cast shares advice they wish younger self would have known

    If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons asks the stars of the new “Angry Birds” movie that question. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Maya Rudolph have some pretty hilarious but also very heart-felt answers.