• Follow me on:

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 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 Central Standard on KCUR-FM.

Simmons' work has been featured in "The View,"" The New Times,""The Pitch,""eKC," "The Sun" 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" which airs on A&E.


Recent Articles
  • Is “Tomorrowland” a wild ride? “Poltergeist” hair-raising? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — It was a tough week in the screening room. None of the movies received more than three popcorn bags. Watch the video above to find out what FOX 4 film critics Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons had to say about the movies.   TOMORROWLAND (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures   RUSS: Since the “Pirates of the Caribbean” adaptations were hits, Disney opted to try the same thing with another Disneyland attraction, “Tomorrowland.” George Clooney and Brittany Robertson play […]

  • Does “American Sniper” hit the target? “Hot Tub Time Machine 2″ lukewarm? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Some of Hollywood’s hottest films are now available to view at home. Watch the video above to find out which one the FOX 4 film critics gave the highest rating.   1) AMERICAN SNIPER (R) Warner Brothers After taking a cinematic breather with the lightweight musical “Jersey Boys,” director Clint Eastwood returns to heavier territory with “American Sniper,” the true story of Chris Kyle, the US Navy Seal rifleman who was credited with over 160 kills in Iraq. Bradley […]

  • Chat with the Stars: Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Matthias Schoenaerts of “Far from the Madding Crowd”

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thomas Hardy’s classic romance “Far from the Madding Crowd” comes to the big screen in a lush new adaptation starring Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts. Mulligan plays a headstrong woman who is way ahead of her time, managing a large estate in rural Victorian England. Things get complicated when she’s romantically pursued by three different men.

  • pitch perfect 2

    Is “Mad Max” crazy? “Pitch Perfect 2″ flawless? “Madding” maddening? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Russ Simmons is back in the screening room and has the scoop on the latest films. Watch the video above to find out if these sequels live up to their predecessors.   1) MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (R) Warner Brothers   Although it’s been over 30 years since Mad Max’s last appearance on the big screen, it seems like Australian filmmaker George Miller hasn’t missed a savage beat. In the rousing and action-packed fourth installment in the franchise, “Mad […]

  • “50 Shades” colorful? “Still Alice” memorable? “Mortdecai” mortifying? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — It was a tough week in the screening room. Find out which films made the cut and which ones didn’t even score a single popcorn bag.   1) FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (R) (Available Friday, May 8) Focus Features   RUSS The big screen adaptation of E.L. James’ kinky S&M bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey” finally hits home video with a resounding ‘thud.’ It isn’t bad enough to be campy fun and is about as erotic as a cold shower. Dakota Johnson’s beguiling […]

  • Will “Hot Pursuit” leave you cold? “The D Train” worth catching? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Is “Hot Pursuit” as hot as it’s hyped up to be? FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons have all the details and more in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews.   HOT PURSUIT (PG-13) Warner Brothers RUSS Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara are much too good to be trapped in the lame-brained chase comedy, “Hot Pursuit.” Witherspoon plays a by-the-book Texas policewoman who tries to protect Vergara, the wife of a Colombian drug informant, from hit men & corrupt cops. SHAWN Watching […]

  • Is “Selma” worth marching to? “Black or White” colorful? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — New movies are available to watch at home. Watch the video above to hear from the FOX 4 film critics and find out which films are worth checking out.   SELMA (PG-13) Paramount   RUSS Who knew that a movie about events that took place in 1965 could be this timely? The incidents leading up to the famous civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama provide the backdrop for the sincere and thoughtful drama, “Selma.” SHAWN Hard to […]

  • Is the new “The Avengers” super? “Clouds of Sils Maria” hit the stratosphere? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    Kansas City, MO — As summer approaches so does the long list of films that will send movie-goers inside to escape the blazing heat and enjoy the latest Hollywood creations. FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons sat down to check out a few of those films and determine which ones have lived up to their expectations.   1. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures   RUSS That ‘wooshing’ sound you hear isn’t from superheroes speeding skyward, it’s the sound […]

  • Does “The Boy Next Door” need to move? “Wedding Ringer” ring true? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons are back in the screening room with the latest movie releases and their opinions on  “The Boy Next Door,” “Wedding Ringer,” “The Gambler,” and “Inherent Vice.”   THE BOY NEXT DOOR (R) Universal   RUSS Jennifer Lopez took a break from her judging duties on “American Idol” to star in the derivative thriller, “The Boy Next Door.” J Lo plays a schoolteacher who discovers that her handsome neighbor is a violent and obsessive psycho.   SHAWN […]

  • Is “The Water Diviner” all wet? “Ex Machina” mechanical? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — THE WATER DIVINER (R) Warner Brothers   RUSS Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut with the sincere melodrama, “The Water Diviner.” Crowe plays an Australian farmer who, in 1919, travels to Turkey to bring home the bodies of his three sons who died in the Battle of Gallipoli.   SHAWN Russell Crowe proves he has serious skills behind the camera. “The Water Diviner,” if nothing else, is beautifully shot and expertly crafted. It’s the story that gets […]

  • Does Jennifer Aniston take the “Cake?” Popcorn Bag Home Video review!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo—Shawn and Russ give us the lowdown on the new home video release which showcases Jennifer Aniston’s attempt to show her dramatic acting chops. Is “Cake” the confection its title implies or does Aniston get her just desserts? 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

  • Does “Unfriended” merit some ‘likes?’ “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2″ arresting? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Russ and Shawn take a look at “Unfriended,” a unique new supernatural thriller that exploits our fears about Internet privacy. Shawn warns us about the meager charms of the comedy sequel, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.” 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