Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Unflinching drama about loss, love, impact of racism.

Movie PG-13 2022 130 minutes
Till Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

It needs to be seen

The movie was very insightful. I've seen a few Emmett Till movies and this one focuses on the lens of his mother. This one isn't as graphic as others, but there are some tough scenes. I took my 8 and 10 year old to see it. That may not be suitable for everyone's family, but mine have been in the presence of sporadic racially charged situations/language at school,the park, etc, so I have no issues watching a movie like this and having meaningful discussion afterwards.
age 13+

An important film that centers those that are left to deal with the aftermath of trauma

This film was a solid three stars, but Deadwyler's portrayal lifts the film. Her portrayal of Mamie Till-Bradley offers a unique portrayal to what we think is the victim trauma story. The film never collapses into spectator trauma and keeps the focus tight on Till-Bradley's understanding of the facts surrounding her son's murder. Chukwu's directorship handles the subject matter with aplomb and knows exactly what the focus of the film is, regardless of the type of film the audience may have thought they were getting, this is much better.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Deadwyler's unforgettable performance carries this powerful story of how a mother's love forced people to see that racism and lack of accountability killed her beloved boy. Directed by Chinonye Chukwu based on a screenplay she co-wrote with Michael Reilly and Keith Beauchamp, Till captures the unease Mamie feels as smiley, outgoing Emmett travels south from Chicago. Mamie's mother, Alma (Goldberg), thinks it's important for Emmett to see where his family comes from, but Mamie testily says that she left the Deep South for a reason. The cinematography captures both the landscape as it changes from Chicago to the South and close-ups of various characters in a way that conveys the mix of emotions everyone is feeling. Emmett (or Bobo, as he's known to his loved ones) is out of his element on vacation, both in regards to his family's cotton-harvesting work and the types of fun to be had in a small, rural town. When the cousins visit the general store one day, Emmett idly takes in the candy for sale and chats with the White woman cashier. Dread slowly builds for viewers who know this history, and there's a brief moment of oppressive silence after Emmett whistles at the pretty young shopkeeper. His face falls as he realizes, belatedly, his error, and his cousins and the other shop regulars look shocked, confused, and frightened. Many viewers will likely stay in a place of discomfort from that point on, even as optimistic Emmett convinces his cousins not to tell their parents about the incident, as it's been a few days since it happened. Little did they know that the worst was yet to come.

Chukwu makes the conscious choice not to focus on the violence of Till's actual lynching. She does show his brutalized body because it's necessary as part of Mamie's story, but the acts of torture and murder remain off camera. Their impact is fully felt, however; this is an intense drama. It's definitely still relevant today: Had he survived his trip to visit his cousins that August, Till would have been 81 years old for the movie's release in 2022. And yet 1955 was also early in the U.S. civil rights movement: There were easily 15 more years of protests, Freedom Rides, and targeted assassinations to come. It's never easy to watch an upsetting story of painful loss, but Till handles the depiction of grief in an empathetic and authentic manner. As Mamie tells her aunt, we owe it to Emmett to bear witness, and this film, this story of a mother's grief and love, does just that.

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