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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 http://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
  • Locally Made “Article 99” Movie Screening to Recognize Veterans in Film

    KANSAS CITY, Mo — CINEMAKC LEGACY RETURNS Oct 7, 2018, Kansas City, Mo. – CinemaKC, a non-profit film organization that spotlights films and filmmakers of the area, will partner with sponsor KC Film Office at Visit KC, to present the second in a series of classic feature films that were filmed in the region, with Kansas City locations, cast and crew. The screening series will be a reunion of personnel who worked on the high-profile projects, as well as an opportunity to introduce […]

  • 18th Annual Kansas International Film Festival runs October 12 – 18!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo —  The18th Annual Kansas International Film Festival, a celebration of studio and independent films, will take place October 12th through the 18th at the cinematic art house of Overland Park, the Glenwood Arts Theatre, 3707 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS 66206. The festival features 144 films from 29 countries. In addition to the exciting film lineup, the festival will feature live musical performances, workshops and film panels with talented filmmakers and artists. The Kansas International Film […]

  • Is “12 Strong” solid? “Peter Rabbit” soft? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two native Kansans have major roles in a new war drama. Check with Shawn and Russ for the review of “12 Strong” and the much more peaceful entry, “Peter Rabbit.”   1) 12 STRONG (R) Warner Brothers   RUSS Chris Hemsworth moves from superhero to war hero in “12 Strong,” a tale inspired by the true story of the Green Beret soldiers who were the first sent into action in Afghanistan after 9/11. Hemsworth plays a character inspired by […]

  • Do “Avengers: Infinity War” and “The Endless” go on forever? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Avengers: Infinity War” will probably break box office records, but is it worth the hype? Shawn and Russ give the lowdown.   1) AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (PG-13) Walt Disney Pictures   RUSS If “more” equals “better,” then “Avengers: Infinity War” is everything a Marvel fanboy could hope for. However, in spite of some impressive scenes and spirited individual performances, “Avengers: Infinity War” is just what you’d expect from a $300 million, 2 hour and 40 minute superhero extravaganza. […]

  • “Maze Runner 3” puzzling? “Hostiles” inhospitable? “Bombshell” explosive? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sci-fi finale, a genre busting Western and a documentary about a unique movie star are all new for home viewing. Check these brief reviews by Russ and Shawn to help with your streaming choices!   1) MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (PG-13) 20th Century Fox   RUSS The final chapter in the “Maze Runner” saga “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” completes the dystopian sci-fi story about a bleak future affected by solar flares, disease, zombies and wicked pseudo-governmental agencies. Loud, busy and […]

  • Is Amy Schumer “Pretty?” Are we high on “Super Troopers 2?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Can R-rated standup comic Amy Schumer find PG-13 bliss? Check out Shawn and Russ as they cover her latest comedy and a sequel sixteen years in the making.   1) I FEEL PRETTY (PG-13) STXfilms   SHAWN We all struggle with self-esteem, Kanye West was just the first to admit it and then Amy Schumer made a movie about.   RUSS Amy Schumer takes on the issue of body image in the likable comic fantasy, “I Feel Pretty.” […]

  • Is “The Post” provocative? “The Commuter” go off the rails? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Shawn and Russ have VERY different takes on the new Steven Spielberg drama. Check out the reviews and decide if you’re a “Russ” or a “Shawn.”   1) THE POST (PG-13) 20th Century Fox   RUSS It’s hard to imagine a timelier movie about freedom of the press than “The Post.” Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star in Steven Spielberg’s riveting drama about the Washington Post’s behind the scenes struggles leading up to the publication of the Pentagon Papers in […]

  • Does “Rampage” Rock? “Beirut” worth visiting? “Truth or Dare” daring? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Is The Rock solid? Russ and  Shawn let us know if Dwayne Johnson scores again…and if the other films opening today are worth your time.   1) RAMPAGE (PG-13) Warner Brothers   RUSS Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a knack for making a silk purse out of a cinematic sow’s ear. Can he do the same for the cursed video game genre? Maybe so. In “Rampage,” based on the Midway arcade game, Johnson plays a primatologist who has […]

  • Is “The Greatest Showman” really great? How about “Molly’s Game,” “All the Money in the World” and “Phantom Thread?” Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Are musicals really making a comeback? If Hugh Jackman has anything to say about it, the answer is “Yes!” Check out this week’s reviews before you start downloading! 1) THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (PG) 20th Century Fox   RUSS “The Greatest Showman” is a colorful, whimsical musical fable starring Hugh Jackman about circus founder, P.T. Barnum. There’s little that’s historically accurate here, but a talented cast and creative filmmaking add up to cinematic joy for fans of the genre. If you DON’T […]

  • Why was Emily Blunt was hesitant about working with her husband?

    Emily Blunt stars in her husband’s new movie “A Quiet Place.” In the video player above, she tells FOX4’s Shawn Edwards why she was hesitant to take the job at first. In “A Quiet Place” a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

  • Is “A Quiet Place” worth visiting? “Isle of Dogs” a mutt? “Blockers” blue? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

    KANSAS CITY. Mo. — There are scares and laughs aplenty in this week’s Screening Room. Watch Shawn and Russ before you head to the theaters!   1) A QUIET PLACE (PG-13) Paramount Pictures   RUSS Originality in horror movies is a rare commodity. Director/star John Krasinski delivers something unique with the genuinely scary creepfest, “A Quiet Place.” It’s skillfully made and acted and truly frightening.   SHAWN “A Quiet Place” is the best horror movie since “Get Out.” Effectively scary. Cleverly executed. […]

  • Is “Father Figures” funny? “Jane” joyous? Popcorn Bag home video reviews!

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A mindless comedy and a biographical documentary are new home video offerings this week. Check out which one Russ and Shawn recommend! 1) FATHER FIGURES (R) Warner Brothers SHAWN “Father Figures” is a mildly funny and mindless comedy. Yes, it’s lazy at times and often desperate for attention. I loved watching Katt Williams the most underrated funny person of our generation. SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags   2) JANE (PG) National Geographic RUSS Although she had no formal training, young Jane Goodall went into […]