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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
  • Does “Snowpiercer” crack the ice on DVD? “Evil” good? “Begin Again” worth rebooting? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo  — 1) SNOWPIERCER (R) Radius-TWC Perhaps the best movie that nobody saw this year is “Snowpiercer,” a wildly imaginative sci-fi adventure that somehow failed to break through the box office ice. Chris “Captain America” Evans stars in this dark and disturbing dystopian thriller about a future where an experiment to halt global warming goes awry and the world becomes a frozen wasteland. The only survivors live on an enclosed perpetual motion bullet train that’s divided into the […]

  • Keanu Reeves is back as an ex-hitman out for revenge

    Keanu Reeves plays an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. Film critic Russ Simmons sat down with him for a Chat with the Stars about his new role.  

  • Keanu a Hit, Man? Bill Murray a ‘Saint?’ Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo— Russ and Shawn review John Wick, St. Vincent, Dear White People, The Sublime and the Beautiful. 1) JOHN WICK (R) Summit Entertainment If you want your movie to be packed with action, why not have a stuntman direct it? That’s was what Keanu Reeves’ decided when he got the script for “John Wick,” a brutally violent R-rated shoot-‘em-up about a retired hit man drawn back into the game by Russian mobsters who’ve wronged him. Chad Stahelski, Reeves’ […]

  • FOX 4 Screening Room movies at home: “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Earth to Echo,” and “Life After Beth”

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FOX 4’s Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards review the latest movies released for home viewing.  

  • In the Screening Room:

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This week, FOX 4 film critics Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons review “The Judge” and “Kill the Messenger.” Both Russ and Shawn gave “The Judge” three out of five popcorn bags. Yet they agreed:  It’s too long, predictable, and saddled with too many sub-plots. “”The Judge has plenty of flaws to cover up. Thank goodness we got Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall on board to do the covering,” Russ said. As for “Kill the Messenger”, […]

  • Screening Room: Gone Girl and The Good Lie

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – FOX 4’s Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons give their take on two recently released movies: ‘The Good Lie’ and ‘Gone Girl.’

  • Gone Girl an Oscar Contender? Does The Good Lie get to the truth? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — 1) 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 stunning and breathtaking cinematic tour de force that redefines the definition of tense and edgy. RUSS Director David Fincher’s riveting and whip smart mystery thriller […]

  • Screening Room: “Transformers” and “Chef”

    1) TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (PG-13) Paramount Pictures RUSS: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was one of the biggest box office hits of the summer. It was also the most overblown, over-produced and overlong movie of the season. The $165 million budget allowed director Michael Bay to splash the screen with all the extravagant 3-D spectacle his computer-generated imaging team could muster. While individual scenes are impressive, Bay has no idea of how to build momentum within a story arc, so […]

  • Is “The Equalizer” unbalanced? Are “The Boxtrolls” animated? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) THE EQUALIZER (R) 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. There’s probably not a better choice for the movie reboot than Denzel Washington. He adds a layer of gritty, steely assurance to the role of a […]

  • Maze Runner meandering? Does Tusk bite? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    KANSAS CITY,  Mo.— Four movies; two matches. Entertainment reporters Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards give their popcorn bag reviews for these four new films: 1) THE MAZE RUNNER (PG-13) 20th Century Fox RUSS: The latest post-apocalyptic dystopian teen novel to be adapted to the big screen has teens forced to survive in an elaborate maze. It’s derivative, but well directed and involving. The fresh-faced newcomers on both sides of the camera deliver. SHAWN Please. Yes, the talent is fresh but […]

  • “Godzilla” invades our homes! Must be “The Fault in Our Stars.” Home Video reviews!

    Available at your local video store or for digital download on September 16th… 1) GODZILLA (PG-13) Warner Brothers RUSS Godzilla, the “King of the Monsters,” returns in a big budget extravaganza of destruction that plays like a WWE Smackdown on nuclear hormones. Bryan Cranston breaks bad as a physicist who sounds the warning bells years after a reactor meltdown. SHAWN There have been 29 Godzilla movies. This version is perhaps the best. Suspenseful and well executed. Loved the technical execution and the fair amount […]

  • Is “The Drop” worth dropping in for? “Dolphin Tale 2″ fishy? Popcorn Bag reviews!

    1) THE DROP (R) Fox Searchlight RUSS Moviegoers know the dark world of novelist Dennis Lahane from big screen adaptations of his works “Mystic River,” “Gone, Baby, Gone” and “Shutter Island.” “The Drop” is the latest journey into gloomy Lahane terrain, this time focusing on mob controlled money drops at low-end Brooklyn bars. SHAWN “The Drop” is a less than entertaining drama that’s intense and edgy. But offers very little emotional pay off with a story that isn’t cliche but […]