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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    Is “Deadpool” DOA? “Zoolander 2” too much? These and more Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Valentine’s Day weekend is always a popular time to visit the theater on a date or with a friend. Watch the video above to find out which film fits your likes.   1) DEADPOOL (R) 20th Century Fox   RUSS First, the bad news: The edgy R-rated Marvel superhero movie “Deadpool” is smutty, vulgar, tasteless and perverse. Now, the good news: “Deadpool” is funny, sharply made and Ryan Reynolds is terrific as the X-Men’s snarky, wisecracking antihero.   […]

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    Is “Spectre” a spectacle? “Crimson Peak” reach the summit? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Winter is not over yet. So if you’re looking something to do while stuck indoors, check out the FOX 4 film critics’ thoughts on Hollywood’s newest releases.   1) SPECTRE (PG-13) Sony Pictures   RUSS The latest James Bond adventure has the best opening scene ever. After that, it’s a parade of Bond clichés.   Still, it may be overlong and the plot may be like ‘kite dancing in a hurricane,’ but Daniel Craig is solid, the […]

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    Is “Hail, Caesar!” regal? “45 Years” worth the wait? “The Choice” worth choosing? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was a tough week in the FOX 4 screening room. Watch the video above to find out why the films got such low ratings.   1) HAIL, CAESAR (PG-13) Universal Pictures RUSS In the wacky new comedy “Hail, Caesar,” the terrific parts don’t necessarily add up to a satisfying whole. An all-star cast appears in this oddball entry written and directed by the Coen Brothers that serves as both homage and a poke in the eye to […]

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    Is “Bridge of Spies” worth tapping into? Does “Crisis” tell the “Truth?” Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Time to cozy up to a bowl of popcorn and a check out the latest films coming to your home. But which latest DVD is worth your time? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons gives his reviews in the Screening Room.   1) BRIDGE OF SPIES (PG-13) Dreamworks   Team up director Steven Spielberg, actor Tom Hanks and screenwriters Joel and Ethan Coen and something special is bound to happen. Their Cold War thriller “Bridge of Spies” lives up to its considerable […]

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    Is “The Finest Hours” all wet? “Kung Fu Panda” still bearable? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whether it’s a date or a family night at the theater, FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the latest on Hollywood’s new releases. Watch the video above to find out which films were their favorite.   1) THE FINEST HOURS (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures   After attending a screening of 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 […]

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    Is “Goosebumps” a bumpy ride? “Chi-Raq” shaky? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  FOX 4’s film critics Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards are once again in the screening room. Watch the video above to find out which films scored the most popcorn bags.   1) GOOSEBUMPS (PG) Sony Pictures RUSS Oh, the horror. Jack Black stars as children’s writer R.L. Stine in “Goosebumps,” a bizarre movie mashup. When a neighbor boy unlocks one of Stine’s secret volumes, dozens of monsters from Stine’s stories are released to wreak havoc in a small […]

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    Is “Anomalisa” an anomaly? Is “Mojave” barren? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FOX 4’s film critics, Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards, say the latest installment of films are a bit strange.  Watch the video above to find out if they thought “Anomalisa” and “Mojave” were worth their time. 1) ANOMALISA (R) Starburns Industries   RUSS Bizarre, original, thought provoking and unnerving, “Anomalisa” is yet another oddball tale from the spotty mind of Charlie Kaufman, Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”   SHAWN Talk about a pretentious bore. […]

  • "Dough" is one of the featured films at this year's KC Jewish Film Festival

    KC Jewish Film Fest features a diverse lineup

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —   The 2016 Kansas City Jewish Film Festival runs January 23rd through February 17th at the KC Jewish Community Center’s White Theater, 5801 W 115 Street, Overland Park, KS .   For Tickets, visit:   2016 KANSAS CITY JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL SCREENING SCHEDULE All screenings take place in the White Theatre at The J   Saturday, January 23 Film: “A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt” 7p.m.   Sunday, January 24 Film: “Besa: The Promise” 2p.m. Film: “The Eichmann Show” 7p.m. Saturday, January […]

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    Is “Straight Outta Compton” dope? “Jem” a gem? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you missed some of the hottest films from this summer and fall, it’s not too late to catch up while your stuck inside during the winter. FOX 4’s film critics Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards break down the must-see films and one they say you could live without seeing.   1) STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (R) Universal Pictures   Ice Cube said, “Our art is a reflection of our reality.” That harsh reality is ably reflected in the compelling, no-holds-barred drama, […]

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    Is “13 Hours” worth your time? “Ride Along 2” worth the trip? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. —   1) 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI (R) Paramount Pictures   It may be damning with faint praise, but “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” may well be Michael Bay’s best film.   The director behind the “Transformers” franchise puts his command of destruction and pandemonium to good use in this true story based on the book by Mitchell Zukoff. It shows how a six-man team of security contractors defended a secret CIA outpost in […]

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    Is “The Martian” out of this world? “Hotel Transylvania 2” worth checking into? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Looking for a great flick to watch during your next night in? The FOX 4 film critics reveal their thoughts “The Martian”  and “Hotel Transylvania 2” in the video above.   1) THE MARTIAN (PG-13) 20th Century Fox   “Cast Away” meets “Gravity” in “The Martian,” a sweeping sci-fi opus from director Ridley Scott, based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir.   Matt Damon plays an astronaut accidentally abandoned on Mars. He attempts to survive for months until NASA can mount a rescue. While […]

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    Popcorn Bag movie reviews of ‘The Revenant’ & ‘The Forest’

    1) THE REVENANT (R) 20th Century Fox Bleak, depressing and ultra-violent, “The Revenant” is, nonetheless, a stunning cinematic epic. Even jaded movie buffs will likely say to themselves, “How the heck did they do that?” Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this grim Western that was inspired by true events. DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a fur trapper whose hunting party is attacked by members of a Native American tribe in an uncharted part of the American wilderness in 1823. Although Glass and a few […]