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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
  • 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 […]

  • Screening Room Movies at Home: “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Winter’s Tale,” “Enemy”

    Welcome to the Screening Room, the movies at home edition. I’m Russ Simmons. Shawn Edwards is working for you in Hong Kong and will be back with us next week. 1) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (R) Warner Brothers After seven years, Hollywood finally got around to making a sequel to the blockbuster sword and sandal hit, “300.” The earlier action fantasy, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, presented unique visuals in its fantastical depiction of a battle […]

  • Screening Room: “Jersey Boys,” “Think Like a Man Too”

    Welcome to the Screening Room. I’m Russ Simmons. Shawn Edwards is on assignment, working for you in Hong Kong and will be back with us next week. New in theaters this week, a couple of summer movies…for adults! 1) JERSEY BOYS (R) Warner Brothers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had dozens of Top 40 hits in the 60s and 70s, selling over 100 million records worldwide. “Jersey Boys,” the Broadway musical that brought their story to the stage became a smash […]

  • Screening Room Movies at Home: “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The LEGO Movie”

    Welcome to the Screening Room, the movies at home edition. New in video stores or available for digital download: 1) The Grand Budapest Hotel (R) Fox Searchlight RUSS Wes Anderson, the king of quirky filmmaking, returns with yet another visually arresting and whimsical oddball comedy called “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Ralph Fiennes plays the concierge at a swanky European resort in the 1930’s. SHAWN “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is sneaky funny. It’s like a story your grandparents told you as […]

  • Screening Room: “How to Train Your Dragon 2, “22 Jump Street”

    1) How to Train Your Dragon 2 (PG) 20th Century Fox RUSS Movie sequels rarely measure up to the original. People relish films like “The Godfather, Part 2” and “Aliens” precisely because they’re the rare follow-ups that exceeded their predecessors. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” may qualify for that recognition, as well. SHAWN That is so true. 2 is better. “How to Train Tour Dragon 2″ is as beautiful an artistic as it is fun and entertaining. And when […]