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
  • promo286213884

    Is “Mother’s Day” worth celebrating? “Keanu” the cat’s meow? These and more Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The FOX 4 film critics say it will be a tough weekend for mothers. Watch the video above to find out why they thought “Mother’s Day” was a miss. However, Russ and Shawn split on “Keanu.” Russ thought it was a riot but Shawn thought it was ‘terrible’. Plus, they cover “Papa: Hemingway in Cuba” and “Ratchet & Clank.”   1) MOTHER’S DAY (PG-13) Open Road Films   RUSS Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Kansas City’s Jason […]

  • MOM

    KC’s “Middle of the Map Festival” offers music, movies and more.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Kansas City’s sixth annual Middle of the Map Festival takes place April 28th through May 1st. The celebration of music, arts and film will take place in a number of venues in Westport, the Crossroads Art District and the downtown Power and Light district.   Among the live highlights will be comedian Fred Armisen (“Saturday Night Live,” “Portlandia,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers”), as well as singer/songwriter Aimee Mann and many more musical acts, including dozens […]

  • az2zgmjz0lfghcpn4xmdoxojbro-i4w8

    Is “The Jungle Book” the jungle VIP? “Barbershop” make the cut? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Grab some popcorn and prepare to be entertained! This week’s releases had the FOX 4 film critics saying wow!   1) THE JUNGLE BOOK (PG)  Walt Disney Pictures   RUSS Who would have guessed that the two best movies so far this year would have come from the folks at Disney? The live-action version of “The Jungle Book” ranks right up there with “Zootopia” as the cream of the contemporary cinematic crop.   SHAWN Faithful to both the […]

  • promo284740411

    Can you see “The Forest” for the trees? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The FOX 4 film critics are back in the screening room and this time they reviewed “The Forest.” Watch the video above to find out what they thought of the horror flick. 1) THE FOREST (PG-13) Gramercy Pictures SHAWN More creepy than scary “The Forest” is a somewhat effective horror flick. However, the legend of the suicide mountain in Japan would make a great documentary or fantastic Movie Trip. As a horror film “The Forest” may not have enough […]

  • boss

    Is Melissa McCarthy “The Boss?” “Midnight Special” really special? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. 1) THE BOSS (R) Universal RUSS After viewing Melissa McCarthy’s goofy comedy “The Boss,” you may be tempted to say, “You’re fired!” McCarthy plays a self-centered business tycoon who gets busted for insider trading and attempts a comeback after her jail stint. SHAWN Melissa McCarthy can be extremely funny. And she is very likable. But she has become the female Adam Sandler at a record pace. People go to her movies but don’t know why. So don’t say we […]

  • screening room dvd

    Is the Force with “The Force Awakens?” “Mojave” too dry? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of Hollywood’s most anticipated films is out on DVD. Watch the video above for the FOX 4 film critics’ reviews of “The Force Awakens,” and “Mojave” to find out what the DVD version has to offer that the theater version did not.     1) STAR WARS: EPISODE VII-THE FORCE AWAKENS (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures   RUSS When the force finally awakened fans were joyful. J.J. Abrams reinvigorated the “Star Wars” franchise with a fun, nostalgic and action-packed cinematic adventure that retains the feel […]

  • KC Film Fest

    KC FilmFest offers movies and events April 13th-17th

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. The 20th annual Kansas City FilmFest runs April 13-17th at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza Theaters. Founded by the late Fred Andrews in 1996, the festival includes dozens of feature length and short film showcases, parties, workshops and other special events. This year’s highlights include: -Acclaimed screenwriter Angelo Pizzo (“Hoosiers”) will screen one of his most popular movies, the sports drama, “Rudy.” He’ll also conduct a screenwriting workshop. -KU film professor Kevin Willmott will screen Spike […]

  • promo283788310

    Should “Eye in the Sky” get a peek? “I Saw the Light” illuminating? “Meet the Blacks” worth your acquaintance? Popcorn Bag Movie Reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before the boys in blue arrive back in Kansas City and baseball takes back over your schedule, you may want to hit the theater. FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons say at least one of this week’s latest releases is worth your time and money. 1) EYE IN THE SKY (R) Bleeker Street   RUSS What’s the value of a single human life? That’s the question at the core of “Eye in the Sky,” an involving, cerebral […]

  • promo283535015

    Is “Hateful Eight” hate-worthy? “Concussion” a head banger? “Point Break” pointless? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Were FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards tough on this week’s home video releases or were the films just lacking? Watch the video above to find out.   1) THE HATEFUL EIGHT (R) The Weinstein Company   RUSS Quentin Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight” is an excessively violent and grisly Western, but this time it’s supposed to be funny. A great cast is wasted in Tarantino’s weakest and most self-indulgent effort that makes extensive use of widescreen cinematography that will […]

  • Popcorn Bag Reviews

    Is “Batman v Superman” a battle royale? “Greek Wedding 2” an event? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It may officially be spring, but it is still pretty chilly out, which makes this weekend a great time to hit the theater. Watch the video above to see, which films FOX 4’s film critics, Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards, say are must-sees and which ones they say you should avoid.   1) BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS The much-heralded superhero smack down has finally arrived. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” […]

  • promo282937935

    Does the final “Hunger Games” flick hit the bullseye? “Daddy’s Home” homley? “The Letters” worth writing about? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards are back in the screening room with the latest on the  Hollywood’s latest releases including their thoughts on the final “Hunger Games” film. 1) THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 (PG-13) Lionsgate They stretched it out as long as possible and the padding shows, but the “Hunger Games” saga has finally come to a mostly satisfying conclusion. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” succeeds mainly because of its star, Jennifer Lawrence. She hits the bull’s eye as the reluctant leader of a political […]

  • promo282754551

    Russ sits down with Shailene Woodley, star of ‘Allegiant’

    FOX 4’s Russ Simmons sat down with Shailene Woodley, star of the “Divergent” film series. The latest installment, “Allegiant,” is the third in the four-part series. Russ and Shailene discuss how the series, which takes place in a dystopian future, relates to today’s world, and Russ asks the Golden Globe-nominated actress what she has in common with her onscreen character.