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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 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
  • “Mission: Impossible 5″ possible to like? “Vacation” make you wanna get away? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — It’s time to hit the theater again! Find out what Russ Simmons has to say about “Mission: Impossible 5″ and “Vacation” and whether they live up to their expectations.   1) MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (PG-13) Paramount Pictures Tom Cruise goes back to the well for a fifth time with yet another “Mission: Impossible” movie. Making it worth seeing should be, well…impossible. But, by golly, the IMF has done it again. “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is an entertaining […]

  • Chat with the stars: Ed Helms and Christina Applegate of “Vacation”

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been 32 years since Chevy Chase took the Griswold family on their first “Vacation.” In a reboot of the popular comedy franchise, Ed Helms of “The Hangover” fame plays Chevy’s son who decides to recreate that earlier family experience by taking his wife, played by Christina Applegate, and two sons on a road trip to Wally World. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons sat down with the stars to find out what they first think of when they […]

  • Is “Home” where your heart is? “Shadows” shady? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — 1) HOME (PG) Dreamworks/20th Century Fox   RUSS Sweet and harmless, the new animated feature “Home” plays a bit like “E.T.” if it had been produced by the folks who gave us Teletubbies. Some cute aliens engage in a very benign invasion of Earth, but one nerdy outcast messes up their plans. This one should appeal to the very young, but older kids and adults might start to nod off at this very familiar story. There may be […]

  • Is ‘Pixels’ square? ‘Paper Towns’ lightweight? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) PIXELS (PG) Columbia Pictures If you used to hang out at video arcades in the 1980s, there might be enough nostalgia value to attract you to Adam Sandler’s sci-fi comedy, “Pixels.” Everyone else, save your tokens. In this lame enterprise, Sandler, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage play nerdy gamers who are called upon to save humanity when an alien force invades the Earth. Seems the extraterrestrials mistook some old video game film footage for an aggressive challenge, and they send high […]

  • Is “Clouds of Sils Maria” gloomy? “Paul Blart 2″ a cop out? “The Longest Ride” interminable? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (R) IFC FilmsRUSS“Clouds of Sils Maria,” is an art film with a capital “A.” Juliette Binoche plays a middle aged actress and Kristen Stewart portrays her assistant who is constantly challenging her. SHAWN Kristen Stewart proves that she did the “Twilight” movies for the money and the fame. RUSS Both actresses give strong performances in this finely detailed and complex drama. While intellectually challenging, writer/director Olivier Assayas’ drama is very self indulgent, ambiguous and anti-climatic. “Clouds of Sils Maria” provides a showcase for its […]

  • Popcorn Bag reviews: ‘Ant-Man’, ‘Trainwreck’, ‘Mr. Holmes’ and Lila & Eve

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — FOX 4 film critics Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons review Ant-Man, Trainwreck, Mr. Holmes, Lila & Eve: ANT-MAN(PG-13) Disney/Marvel RUSS: The Marvel superhero train keeps chugging along with “Ant-Man.” Kansas City favorite son Paul Rudd stars as the titular hero, who dons a high-tech suit that allows him to shrink to insect size while increasing his strength and agility. SHAWN In a word “Ant-Man” is phenomenal. It’s the most fiercely original and inventive Marvel movie yet […]

  • Is the “Exotic Hotel” worth checking into? “Ex Machina” mechanical? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL(PG) 20th Century Fox   RUSS: The comic drama “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which focused on British retirees in India, was a surprise smash hit back in 2012. While it was made for under $10 million, it grossed over $160 million at the worldwide box office. That could only mean one thing:  “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” SHAWN Not sure it was a smash hit. Nonetheless, the follow-up, “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” will have a […]

  • Do they live up to their expectation?

    Are “Minions” despicable? “The Gallows” worth hanging around for? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Looks like it’s time to hit the theater! Check out what FOX 4 film critics Shawn and Russ had to say about “Minions,” “Gallows” and “Amy.”   MINIONS (PG) Universal RUSS Let’s face it. Minions are great. They’re cute, funny and appealingly yellow. It’s too bad their movie isn’t quite as engaging. “Minions” provides the back story for the pint-sized lackeys introduced in the “Despicable Me” movies. SHAWN But the movie is fun…which is the goal of […]

  • Is “Woman in Gold” the gold standard? Home Video Popcorn Bag review!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It look’s like it’s time for a movie night or maybe not. FOX 4 film critic breaks down the latest at home video releases.   1) WOMAN IN GOLD (PG-13) The Weinstein Company Dame Helen Mirren can do no wrong. This is especially important with a movie like “Woman in Gold.” Her golden performance is the main attraction of an otherwise lackluster movie. This film should have been riveting. It tells the amazing true story of Maria Altmann, […]

  • Is “Terminator Genisys” terminal? Is “Magic Mike XXL” magic? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — They’re baaack! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Channing Tatum are back on the big screen in hopes that their latest films will live up their predecessors.   1) TERMINATOR GENISYS (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS Well, he said he’d be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes good on his promise as the time-traveling cyborg in “Terminator Genisys.” The latest entry is sort of a reboot, an example of “retroactive continuity.” In other words, they’ve changed the timelines so that everything that came before is now […]

  • Chat with the Stars: ‘Max’

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the movie “Max” a fallen marine leaves behind a pet partner, traumatized from the battlefield. A new partnership helps to provide the healing touch. FOX 4’s Russ Simmons has more in our Chat with the Stars. Watch it in the video player above.

  • Is “Ted 2″ bearable? Is “Max” the most? “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” lively? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — If you’re headed to the theater this weekend there are options for each taste. If it’s an adult’s night out “Ted 2″ might be a good choice, but if you have the kiddos tagging along “Max” might be a more suitable option. 1) TED 2 (R) Universal Bad taste sells. No one knows that better than Seth MacFarlane. He brings us more raunchy and sophomoric humor in “Ted 2,” the sequel to his 2012 R-rated hit about a […]