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 http://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
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    “Secret Life of Pets” mangy? “Bourne” boring? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is the “Secret Life of Pets” mangy? “Bourne” boring? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the latest in this week’s Popcorn Bag home video reviews!   1) THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (PG) Universal RUSS “Toy Story” showed us what toys did when their owners weren’t around. Ditto for Legos in “The Lego Movie.” The conceit should work for pets, too, and by golly it does in “The Secret Life of Pets.” SHAWN “The Secret Life of Pets” works because it […]

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    No ‘Bah Humbug’ with these ‘alternative’ Christmas choices! Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  The holiday season is upon us, a time to enjoy some yuletide movie classics. But as an alternative to the usual fare like IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, we thought we’d offer some other options you might enjoy. First, here are Russ’ picks. RUSS’ alternate Christmas picks: 1) THE NATIVITY STORY (2006) (PG) New Line Cinema Many critics dismissed the 2006 movie “The Nativity Story.” Directed by Catherine Hardwick of “Twilight” fame, this tale of […]

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    Will “Don’t Breathe” make you gasp? What about “Pete’s Dragon,” “The BFG” and “Ab Fab?” Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will “Don’t Breathe” make you gasp? What about “Pete’s Dragon,” “The BFG” and “Ab Fab?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!   1) DON’T BREATHE (R) Screen Gems/Stage 6 Films RUSS There are times while watching “Don’t Breathe” that you probably won’t. Yes, it’s yet another sordid, R-rated horror flick, but it’s an exceptionally well made edge-of-your-seat chiller. SHAWN The problem is it’s more of a thriller […]

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    Thanksgiving movies Popcorn Bag reviews: ‘Moana,’ ‘Allied,’ ‘Loving’ and ‘Rules Don’t Apply?’

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will you be thankful for Thanksgiving movies “Moana,” “Allied,” “Loving” and “Rules Don’t Apply?”  FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have your answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag 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. SHAWN […]

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    “Hell or High Water” stay afloat? “War Dogs,” “Kubo” and “Hands of Stone” solid? Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Hell or High Water” stay afloat? “War Dogs,” “Kubo” and “Hands of Stone” solid? FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons have the latest in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews! 1) HELL OR HIGH WATER (R) CBS Films/Lionsgate RUSS It may be too early to talk about Oscars, but we may well be mentioning the modern Western “Hell or High Water” at awards time. SHAWN “Hell or High Water” may just be the best movie for […]

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    Is “Fantastic Beasts” fantastic? “Edge of 17” edgy? What about “Bleed for This” and “The 13th?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Fantastic Beasts” fantastic? “Edge of 17” edgy? What about “Bleed for This” and “The 13th?” FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons break down this week’s releases and share their favorite in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews!   1) FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (PG-13) Warner Brothers RUSS Harry Potter fans who mourned the end of his book and movie franchise, take heart. J. K Rowling has revived that universe with her original screenplay, […]

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    Is “Sausage Party” the wurst? Does “Indignation” breed contempt? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Sausage Party” the wurst? Does “Indignation” breed contempt? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has the latest in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) SAUSAGE PARTY (R) Columbia Pictures RUSS “Sausage Party” is an animated comedy about anthropomorphic food items that is definitely not for the family. It’s got a gifted voice cast, but after exploiting every dirty food-related double entendre the filmmakers can think of, it devolves into a supermarket orgy. There are some funny moments, but not enough […]

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    Is “Finding Dory” all wet? Does “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” rock? Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Finding Dory” all wet? Does “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” rock? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has your answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews.   1) FINDING DORY (PG) Walt Disney/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 […]

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    Does “Arrival” land safely? “Moonlight” illuminating? “Almost Christmas” festive? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Does “Arrival” land safely? “Moonlight” illuminating? “Almost Christmas” festive? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has your answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews!   1) ARRIVAL (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS “Arrival” is a science fiction opus that walks a razor’s edge. It could be hokey in the extreme or profoundly moving. Luckily, it mostly keeps its balance thanks to skillful direction from Denis Villeneuve and a touching performance from Amy Adams. When a number of alien spacecraft abruptly appear […]

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    Is “Doctor Strange” a Marvel? Does “Hacksaw Ridge” cut it? “Trolls” monstrous? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Doctor Strange” a Marvel? Does “Hacksaw Ridge” cut it? “Trolls” monstrous? FOX 4’s film critics, Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards, have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews.   1) DOCTOR STRANGE (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures RUSS The 14th film from the Marvel Universe is easily the trippiest, yet.  Benedict Cumberbatch plays “Doctor Strange” in a visually spectacular origin story about Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme. While you may not be able to make heads or tails out of […]

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    Is “Star Trek Beyond” worth the journey?” How about “Anthropoid,” “Bad Moms” and “Sea of Trees?” Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Star Trek Beyond” worth the journey?” How about “Anthropoid,” “Bad Moms” and “Sea of Trees?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video Reviews!   1) STAR TREK BEYOND (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin helps the “Star Trek” franchise live long and prosper. He’s brought his action expertise to”Star Trek Beyond” and the result is a zippy, entertaining entry in the series. He even managed to […]

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    FOX 4 offers you some opinions/reviews on this weekend’s new releases

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Inferno” hot? Is “Certain Women” convincing? Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) INFERNO (PG-13) Columbia Pictures RUSS Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard may have gone to the well one too many times with “Inferno,” their third entry in the Robert Langdon “Da Vinci Code” series by novelist Dan Brown. This time out, our intrepid Harvard symbologist tries to unravel his trickiest puzzle, yet, involving Dante, a deadly virus and a crazy billionaire. SHAWN The plot screams bad James […]