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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
  • Will you want to move from “The Boy Next Door?” “Mortedai” mortifying? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 1) THE BOY NEXT DOOR (R) Universal   RUSS Jennifer Lopez takes a break from her judging duties on “American Idol” to star in the derivative thriller, “The Boy Next Door.” J Lo plays a schoolteacher who has a misguided one-night stand with the handsome teenager next door, only to discover that he’s a violent and obsessive psycho.   SHAWN Jennifer Lopez is perhaps too old and too smart to star in a movie this dumb and easily predictable […]

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    Will you want to move from “The Boy Next Door?” “Mortedai” mortifying? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    Kansas City, MO —   1) THE BOY NEXT DOOR (R) Universal   RUSS Jennifer Lopez takes a break from her judging duties on “American Idol” to star in the derivative thriller, “The Boy Next Door.” J Lo plays a schoolteacher who has a misguided one-night stand with the handsome teenager next door, only to discover that he’s a violent and obsessive psycho.   SHAWN Jennifer Lopez is perhaps too old and too smart to star in a movie this dumb and […]

  • “Gone Girl” worth finding? “Tombstones” solid? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo— GONE GIRL(R) – 20th Century Fox RUSS Salacious? Yes. Lurid? You bet. Far fetched? Absolutely. “Gone Girl” is all of those things. And this adaptation of Kansas City native Gillian Flynn’s novel is also one of the best and most entertaining movies of the year. SHAWN “Gone Girl” is a salacious and deliciously seductive slice of guilty pleasure cinema done at a high level. Director David Fincher’s icy cool film is a mesmerizing morality tale with pulpy overtones written […]

  • Does GET ON UP get it done? BOYHOOD award-worthy? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — 1. GET ON UP (PG-13) Universal Pictures RUSS Chadwick Boseman gives an energetic performance in “Get On Up,” the story of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.The unusual biopic doesn’t follow a linear narrative, but jumps back and forth in time in an attempt to give us an overview of the life of the hardest working man in show business, a complicated artist who could be kind and cruel in equal measure. That choppy approach works against it, […]

  • Russ names his ‘Worst Movies of 2014′

    Russ Simmons lists his worst movies of 2014:  A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (R) Universal There are a million ways to fail in comedy and Seth McFarland found them all in this “Blazing Saddles” wannabe. The stars wanted to work with McFarland in the worst way…and they succeeded.   THE PURGE: ANARCHY(R) Universal File this under “Bloody Death as Entertainment.” On day a year, murder is legal. The people who foisted this ugly horror flick on us are […]

  • Russ names his ‘Best Movies of 2014′

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — The controversy over “The Interview” and the hack of Sony Pictures was the big movie news story of they year, overshadowing the cinematic product. The box office take was 5.6% below last year’s all-time record. While there were few movies to get really excited about, there were a lot of commendable films. Here are my top five of the year. These are not necessarily my favorites, but they’re the ones of highest artistic quality. BOYHOOD (R) […]

  • Shawn names his ‘Best Movies of 2014′

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — After watching more than 200 movies the time has come to choose the best. Not an easy task… Well maybe a little easier than most this year, since the overall quality of movies in 2014 was pretty weak and pathetic. But let’s to this. Here are my choices of the five best movies of 2014. 5. RUN BOY RUN (N/R) Menemsha Films And the fifth best movie this year is “Run Boy Run” a powerful and […]

  • EQUALIZER sum it up? Does TUSK bite? DVD Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) THE EQUALIZER (R) RUSS In the popular 1980s TV series “The Equalizer,” British actor Edward Woodward played a retired secret agent who spent his golden years meting out brutal punishment on a variety of nasty criminals. The show tapped into the same vicarious vigilante bloodlust that viewers experienced from Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” movies. SHAWN And Denzel Washington is a bad man. But golly gee whiz hasn’t he done this type of thing before. I mean he’s great at it and “The Equalizer” is entertaining as heck. But really […]

  • INTO THE WOODS wooden? UNBROKEN solid? IMITATION GAME a copycat? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) INTO THE WOODS (PG) Walt Disney Pictures RUSS Disney’s beautifully produced version of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical that turned classic fairy tales on their ears is dark and off-putting. It’s really not for kids, so it’s no family film. SHAWN Not sure I would call this sloppily produced and incoherent musical beautiful. More like laughable and misguided. Wow what tragic performances. But I do agree that this dark tale is not for kids or anyone with good taste. RUSS: 3 Popcorn […]

  • Reese Witherspoon on a journey in “Wild”

    Reese Witherspoon stars in a soul-searching drama based on the story of Cheryl Strayed, who hiked 1,000 miles up the Pacific Crest Trail. She took on the journey after her mother’s death with set in motion a number of other losses. Alone in the wild for 94 days, she faces her grief and rediscovers herself. FOX 4 film critic Russ Simmons sat down with Witherspoon to find out what she learned from Cheryl’s story.

  • “Hobbit” a ringer? “Annie” a hard-knock flick? “Museum” worth visiting” Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — FOX 4 film critics Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards review The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Annie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Wild. 1) THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (PG-13) Warner Brothers SHAWN A spectacular ending to the franchise. RUSS “The Hobbit” finale features all of the series’ strengths & weaknesses of the series…including the top-drawer eye candy and narrative padding. SHAWN Really didn’t want the movie to end. RUSS I often […]

  • Do “Ninja Turtles” have snap? “Maze Runner” puzzling? Popcorn Bag DVD reviews!

    TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (PG-13) Paramount RUSS While it feels like a mash-up of every genre cliché, this reboot of the 80s comic book franchise is action packed and has terrific special effects. It should please it’s demographic of 7 year olds and those looking for a little nostalgia. SHAWN says: Awful and forced. The tone is anti-playful. The execution worst than cold stale pizza. RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags SHAWN: 1 Popcorn Bag 2) THE MAZE RUNNER (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS: […]