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Russ Simmons is an award-winning film critic who's 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 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday on Fox 4 News or 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 The Walt Bodine Show on KCUR-FM.

Simmons' work has been featured in "The View," " The New Times," "The Pitch," "eKC" 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" that airs on VH1.


Recent Articles
  • Are Labor Day weekend movies labored? Check out Popcorn Bag reviews!

    It’s the dog days of summer. The blockbusters opened earlier and the quality Oscar contenders will open later in the fall. What does that mean for current releases? Russ and Shawn cover Labor Day weekend titles like “Life After Beth,” “Life of Crime” and “As Above/So Below.” 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

  • Screening Room Movies at Home: “Divergent,” “Need for Speed,” “Oculus”

    Available at your local video store or for digital download on August 5th… 1) DIVERGENT (PG-13) Lionsgate/Summit RUSS “Divergent” is the latest young adult sci-fi novel to be adapted to the screen. Like “The Hunger Games,” it’s an action drama set in a dystopian future with society run by people whose priorities may not include the welfare of the masses. It’s not quite in the same cinematic league as “The Hunger Games,” but it’s a reasonably entertaining and well-produced cautionary […]

  • Popcorn Bag Reviews: “Guardians of the Galaxy, ” “Get On Up,” “Boyhood”

    1) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (PG-13) Walt Disney One of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer is the big screen adaptation of Marvel Comics’ “Guardians of the Galaxy.” We had three of our Fox 4 viewers, selected from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kansas City, serve as “Guest Critics” for this one. Thanks to Frank Trotta and his nephews Alex and Roman for covering it. Frank said, “I thought it had an interesting story. I would give it […]

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    CinemaKC Presents Free Animated Classics at Crown Center

    KANSAS CITY, MO. CinemaKC, a local non-profit organization that works to promote film and filmmaking in our community, will present a free month of feature-length animated movies geared for the entire family. The inaugural “KC Summer Animated Series” begins this Saturday, August 2nd at 10:30am at the Screenland Crown Center Theatres. The goal is to “introduce and reintroduce families and animation fans to classic and new animated cinema from here and abroad.” There’s the lineup for this summer’s festival: -August […]

  • Talking with the cast from WGN’s new show Manhattan

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A brand new series enters the world of deception and danger. It centers around one of the best-kept secrets of all time! “Manh(A)ttan” premieres this weekend. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons talks with the cast members about what the show means for contemporary viewers.

  • Screening Room Movies at Home: “Noah,” “The Other Woman”

    New in video stores or ‘on demand’ beginning July 29th: 1. NOAH (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS The latest Hollywood version of the epic story of Noah starring Russell Crowe takes a boatload of liberties with Biblical narrative, but it’s still a wildly imaginative, beautifully produced and thought-provoking movie just the same. SHAWN In many ways “Noah’ is an awesome movie. It just depends on what type of movie experience you were expecting. If you dig conventional narratives this ain’t your boat. […]

  • Popcorn Bag Reviews: “Lucy,” “And So it Goes” and more

    1. LUCY (R) Universal Pictures RUSS: It may be loony, over-the-top and downright daffy, but Luc Besson’s sci-fi action thriller “Lucy” is also a wildly entertaining opus. Scarlett Johansson stars as a woman who, through chemical inducement, is able to use nearly all of her dormant brain capacity, making her superhuman. SHAWN: Finally. And I mean finally. Scarlett Johansson finds a role tailor made for her and delivers. About time. “Lucy” wins because it’s stylistic and imaginative. Highly fictitious but mostly […]

  • W.G.N. America’s new show: ‘Manhattan’

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A brand new series enters the world of deception and dangers, which all centers around one of the best-kept secrets of all time! W.G.N. America’s dramatic series “Manhattan” takes place in the grueling deserts of New Mexico in the 1940’s when scientists were in a top secret race to develop the atomic bomb. The show premieres this weekend, July 27. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons had a chance to chat with the cast about what the show […]

  • Popcorn Bag Reviews: “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Sex Tape”

    In the FOX 4 Screening Room: “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Sex Tape” 1. THE PURGE: ANARCHY (R) Universal Pictures RUSS The low budget horror flick “The Purge” became a surprise hit in 2013. It took place in the near future, and depicted an America where murder is legal one night per year. Now we have the sequel, “The Purge: Anarchy.” Perhaps the only people who need to be purged are the folks who foisted this cinematic garbage on us. Unlike the first […]

  • On DVD: Two very different films

    Rio 2: Russ gave it two popcorn bags, while Shawn three popcorn bags. Under the Skin (Scarlett Johansson) Russ gave it three popcorn bags. Watch their reviews of the movies now on DVD.  

  • Popcorn Bag Review: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — FOX 4 film critics Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards weren’t too far apart on their reviews of the new film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. 1.) DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS 2014 may go down as the “Year of the Superior Sequels.” Movies like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “22 Jump Street,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ have disproved the […]

  • Lining up the popcorn bags: Transformers and Obvious Child

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards watched Transformers and Obvious Child in The FOX 4 Screening Room with their critical eyes and ears. How many popcorn bags? Their answers were different on both. 1) TRANSFORMERS: THE AGE OF EXTINCTION (PG-13) “Transformers: Age of Extinction” may well become the biggest box office hit of the season. It may also be the most overblown, over-produced and overlong movie of the season. The $165 million budget allowed director Michael Bay […]