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
  • Mckenna Grace shows off new front teeth and big personality when chatting with FOX 4

    FOX 4’s Russ Simmons got a chance to sit down with the stars of the new film “Gifted,” described by IMDB as the heart-wrenching tale of “Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, drawn into a custody battle with his mother.” While chatting with Chris Evans, who is best known for his role as Captain America in the Marvel films, and 10-year-old actress Mckenna Grace, FOX 4 got close look at the actress’ new front teeth as well as her big personality. […]

  • From KC to Hollywood and back, local producer credits much of his success to local h.s.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  The new movie “Gifted” starring Chris Evans hits theaters this weekend, and the movie has a very special local tie. Andy Cohen is an Overland Park native, and he produced the new film. FOX 4 was honored to have Cohen visit Studio B Friday. Cohen credits much of his success to Shawnee Mission South’s great theater program.  

  • FOX 4 chats with stars of new film ‘Gifted’

    FOX 4’s Russ Simmons got a chance to sit down with the stars of the new film “Gifted,” described by IMDB as the heart-wrenching tale of “Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, drawn into a custody battle with his mother.” The film stars Chris Evans, perhaps best known for his role as Captain America in the Marvel films, as well as Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Saturday Night Live alum Jenny Slate, and 10-year-old actress Mckenna […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Fate of the Furious, Gifted and Colossal

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Fate of the Furious” maddening? “Gifted” have talent? “Colossal” massive? FOX 4’s Russ Simmon and Shawn Edwards share their opinions in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (PG-13) Universal RUSS The “The Fast and the Furious” franchise has morphed into an over-the-top sci-fi action extravaganza that makes James Bond adventures seem like documentaries by comparison. In “The Fate of the Furious,” Vin Diesel’s Dom Torretto has gone rouge, joining forces with […]

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews: Split, The Founder and Sleepless

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Split” divisive? Does “The Founder” flounder? “Sleepless” drowsy? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) SPLIT (PG-13) Universal RUSS Since hitting the big time with “The Sixth Sense,” the work of quirky filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has been a hit-and-miss affair. His new horror entry “Split” is something of a return to form. James McAvoy is excellent as a man suffering from multiple personality disorder who […]

  • Octavia Spencer on working with children and animals

    Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer shows off her natural gift in a new movie about a single man, raising a child prodigy. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons chats with the star who shared why she doesn’t mind working with child actors. “Gifted” opened in theaters April 7.

  • Go on a Movie Trip in Kansas City!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —   Kansas City has a surprising connection to Hollywood. Known as the Barbecue Capital of the World, Paris on the Plains and City of Fountains — Kansas City has been the setting of several major movies. Kansas City is known for its Jazz, fountains, and barbecue, and it’s interesting to know Kansas City has always had ties to Hollywood. This is the home of the father of animation — Walt Disney and the birthplace of some […]

  • 20th Annual KC Film Fest celebrates storytelling April 5th-9th

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Cinemark Palace on the Plaza will once again be movie central for film buffs as the 20th annual Kansas City Film Festival takes place April 5th-9th. The celebration of storytelling will attract over 8,000 people to 5 days of films, panels, seminars, receptions, parties and after-parties. KC FilmFest hosts over 70 visiting filmmakers and 14 Final Jurors.  Previous years have welcomed guests such as Don Cheadle, Rob Riggle, Jason London, Brandy Burre, Bob Gale and […]

  • Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried reveal whether they want their obituaries to say

    It’s been more than 30 years since Shirley MacLaine won an Oscar for her role in “Terms of Endearment.” Now she’s starring alongside Amanda Seyfried in “The Last Word.” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons chats with the two about whether they’d really leave their obituary to chance. Fun fact Seyfried fell in love with her “The Last Word” co-star Thomas Sadoski and is expecting their first child any day now. “The Last Word” opened in theaters March 3, 2017.

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews : Sing, Live By Night, Miss Sloane and Assassin’s Creed

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Sing” worth crooning about? What about “Live By Night,” “Miss Sloane” and “Assassin’s Creed?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) SING (PG) Universal RUSS If you like “American Idol” and animated comedy “Sing” is for you. Smart, tune-filled and light-hearted, “Sing” isn’t up to the standards of other animated releases we’ve seen recently, but it’s awfully hard to dislike. SHAWN “Sing” is fantastic. Not […]

  • Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews: Beauty and the Beast and Sense of an Ending

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is the new “Beauty” a “Beast?” “Sense of an Ending” a sensible choice? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews! 1) BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG) Walt Disney RUSS It’s a tale as old as time, but when Disney goes back to the well it’s usually worth the trip. The 1991 animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” gets a rousing ‘live-action’ reboot, although I use the term “Live-action” loosely […]

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews: Passengers, Fences, Collateral Beauty and Elle

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Passengers” worth boarding? How about “Fences,” “Collateral Beauty” and “Elle?” FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) PASSENGERS (PG-13)Columbia Pictures Two very likable stars get lost in space in the well-produced romantic sci-fi drama, “Passengers.” Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt play people on a 120-year space voyage when their hibernation pods awaken them 90 years too soon. Even these strong personalities can’t quite overcome some of the story’s misguided elements. Shawn says, […]