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
  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Baywatch, Pirates 5 and Lovers

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Baywatch” watchable? “Pirates 5” stay afloat? “Lovers” lovable? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) BAYWATCH (R) Paramount Pictures RUSS It may seem early to start a “Worst Movies of the Year” list, but surely “Baywatch” will qualify. A raunchy parody of the old TV series, “Baywatch” struggles to mine a few meager laughs from gross-out jokes, but it drowns in its own off-color excesses. SHAWN “Baywatch” […]

  • Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews: Logan, Get Out and The Great Wall

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Logan” logy? “Get Out” worth getting into? “The Great Wall” divisive? FOX 4’s Russ Simmon and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews! 1) LOGAN (R) 20th Century Fox RUSS In what is being touted as his final appearance as “Logan,” aka Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is back as a tired, aging and worn out mutant, a far cry from his glory days with X-Men. SHAWN “Logan” is one of the best […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Is “Alien: Covenant” agreeable? “Everything, Everything” all that? “Norman” normal

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “Alien: Covenant” agreeable? “Everything, Everything” all that? “Norman” normal? Here’s FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards Popcorn Bag movie reviews!   1) ALIEN: COVENANT (R) 20th Century Fox RUSS While Ridley Scott’s newest “Alien” prequel “Alien: Covenant” doesn’t add much that’s new, it does fill in the blanks. We now know where the creatures came from. Fans of the franchise should enjoy the action and mayhem that this origin story provides, even though it all seems […]

  • Is “King Arthur” regal? “Snatched” worth catching? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — 1) KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (PG-13) Warner Brothers   SHAWN Director Guy Ritchie puts his cinematic touches on King Arthur updating the classic tale with his usual cinematic tricks. Much in he way he updated Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie makes King Arthur palatable for today’s audiences and Charlie Hunnam is perfectly cast as the king. Purist may balk but most will enjoy this action packed thrill ride. Sometimes fresh takes are needed.   RUSS: Did Not Screen […]

  • Is “xXx” excellent? “The Space Between Us” spacey? “Resident Evil 6” really the finale? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The FOX 4 film critics were tough on this week’s Home Video releases. Watch the video above or read for more on why these movies received so few popcorn bags.   1) xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE (PG-13) Paramount Pictures SHAWN Basically all stunts. And not much more. Cinematically empty on every level. RUSS SAYS “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” the third entry in the action series, is a stunt reel in search of a movie. The filmmakers […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Let the summer movies begin

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s time for summer movie season. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts on this week’s releases. 1) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2(PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures SHAWN Let the summer begin! And it gets kicked off with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Elephants deserve to roam free so I ain’t gonna let this one stay in the room. No, Guardians 2 is not as good as Guardians 1.  That’s asking a lot. […]

  • Home Video Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews: I Am Not Your Nego, A Dog’s Purpose, The Salesman and Gold

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the FOX 4 film critics gear up for summer, Russ Simmons has everything you need to know about what’s available for home screening this week. 1) I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (PG-13) Magnolia Pictures RUSS “I Am Not Your Negro” is a compelling, penetrating Oscar-nominated documentary about the late author James Baldwin and his perspective on three men he knew well: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, who were all assassinated. It’s a […]

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: The Circle and Graduation

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “The Circle” unbroken? “Graduation” deserve a diploma? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has the answers in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews!   1) THE CIRCLE (PG-13) STX Entertainment RUSS So what’s the downside of our obsession with social media? The new thriller “The Circle,” based on Dave Egger’s novel, focuses on the possibility of Big Brother’s dystopian grip and a loss of privacy. Emma Watson plays a wide-eyed innocent who confronts corporate villain Tom Hanks and his nefarious […]

  • 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.  

  • Popcorn Bag movie reviews: The Promise and Lost City of Z

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is “The Promise” fulfilling? Is “Lost City of Z” misplaced? FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts in this week’s Popcorn Bag movie reviews! 1) THE PROMISE (PG-13) Open Road Films RUSS “The Promise” is the second historical drama to open in the last few weeks that’s set in Turkey during the run up to WWI. It serves as a rebuttal to “The Ottoman Lieutenant,” which gave the Turkish point of view, minimizing the […]

  • 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 […]