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
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    “No Escape” worth evading? “Ricki and the Flash” flashy? “Shaun” sheepish? “American Ultra” outré? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Light the fire and make some popcorn, there are new films out on dvd, blue-ray and digital download. Watch Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews to see which one you should check out.   1) NO ESCAPE (R) The Weinstein Company RUSS It’s unlikely that the Southeast Asian chamber of commerce will be using “No Escape” as a promotional vehicle. Owen Wilson and Lake Bell play an American couple who take their two young daughters to an unnamed nation only to land smack […]

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    “Mockingjay 2” for the birds? “Spotlight” in focus? “Secret in Their Eyes” unsightly? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will the Hunger Games live up to its expectations? Watch the reviews above.   1) THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 (PG-13) Lionsgate Films   RUSS 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 […]

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    Will you want to yell, “U.N.C.L.E.?” Is “We Are Your Friends? amiable? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Didn’t get a chance to got to the theater this summer? A lot of the season’s hottest flicks are finally available to view at home. Watch the video above for this week’s Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews.   1) THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS The cinematic update of the old 1960s’ TV spy series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” bombed at the box office this summer. It might find new life on demand, however. Henry Cavill plays a US secret […]

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    Does “Room” have reach? Does “The 33” amount to much? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo— Will “Room” and “The 33” have a strong enough plot line to take the top rating in the Popcorn Bag movie reviews? Watch the video above to find out.   1) ROOM (R) Element Pictures SHAWN I love movies that stress me out. And make me think. And cause emotional distress. “Room” a cinematic masterpiece did all of that and more. Completely realistic. Unapologetically unflinching. At times I wanted to vomit, cry and cheer. No it wasn’t easy watching the […]

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    Clinton, Mo. native releases new film about Mother Teresa

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — William Riead Clinton, Mo., native and filmmaker visited the FOX 4 studio to chat about his new movie about Mother Teresa called “The Letters.” Watch the video above to hear more on the film and how he came up with the movie’s script.

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    15th Annual Kansas International Film Festival runs Nov 6-12

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — The yearly celebration of cinema known as KIFF, the Kansas International Film Festival, returns to the Glenwood Arts Theater, 3707 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS, for another eclectic round of movies and events for the film-loving public. Not only will there be a wide lineup of narrative, documentary and animated films, a number of directors and producers will be on hand to chat with fans about their creative endeavors. The festival culminates in the presentation of several awards, […]

  • Is “Inside Out” animated? “Vacation” a holiday? “Hitman” on target? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The cool weather is here and the FOX 4 film critics have everything you need to know when checking out a movie to watch while cuddling up under a blanket next to the fire.   1) INSIDE OUT (PG) Disney/Pixar RUSS Well, they’ve done it again. “Inside Out” is not only another animated triumph for the folks at Pixar, it’s easily one of the best movies of the year. SHAWN Yes, it really is that good. Clever, original, and […]

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    Is “Our Brand of Crisis” a disaster? Is “Truth” truthful? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    1) OUR BRAND IS CRISIS (R) Warner Brothers   RUSS Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton star in “Our Brand is Crisis” a fictionalized political satire based on the 2002 Bolivian election. In that contest, consultants from the U.S. were imported to implement American-style political dirty tricks to help a wealthy businessman defeat the socialist candidate.   SHAWN And Billy Bob Thorton and Sandra Bullock are terrific. And the subject matter is fascinating. Both get my vote. But the execution, well that’s […]

  • Chat with the Stars chat with Charlie Brown

    Chat with the Stars: Interviews with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, & Franklin

    FOX 4’s entertainment reporter Russ Simmons talked to Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Franklin, and Woodstock about the upcoming The Peanuts Movie. It opens in theaters November 6. As expected, they are adorable as he chats with them and brings out the very unique qualities they’re know for. Watch their cute comments to his pressing questions about the movie in the video player above!  

  • Jem and the Holograms

    Chat with the Stars: Jem and the Holograms

    If you were around in the 80s, you’ll remember the Hasbro dolls. ‘Jem and the Holograms’ hits theaters as a live-action adaptation and film critic Russ Simmons sat down with two of the film’s main characters for more on their family-bond on the screen.

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    Is “Jurassic World” worth visiting? “Paper Towns” flimsy?” “Z for Zachariah” the last word? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — 1) JURASSIC WORLD (PG-13) Universal Pictures RUSS Twenty-two years after the minor mishaps at “Jurassic Park,” the dinosaur zoo is back up and running in “Jurassic World.” This time, to up the ante on thrills, the operators have used genetic engineering to create a scarier, more intelligent star attraction. What could possibly go wrong? SHAWN Actually everything including the execution of this movie. But hey the dinosaurs are really cool looking and realistic scary. “Jurassic World” is a popcorn movie […]

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    Is “Tomorrowland” yesterday’s news? “San Andreas” shaky? “Dope” live up to its name? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — Looking for a new movie to toss into the DVD player while relaxing at home? Check out this week’s Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews to see which ones are a must-see.   1) TOMORROWLAND (PG) Walt Disney Pictures RUSS: Since the “Pirates of the Caribbean” adaptations were hits, Disney opted to try the same thing with another Disneyland attraction, “Tomorrowland.” George Clooney and Brittany Robertson play brainy science nerds go on a journey into another dimension where geniuses have […]