Look At Him

There’s one critical issue with Till. It’s an unavoidable reality in our society: Those who most need to see Till, to feel it, to grasp it, to understand the obvious, infuriating injustice as witnessed through the eyes of Emmett Till’s grieving mother, won’t. They’ll make excuses. They’re cowards. Disgusting cowards, even.

Till isn’t without its flaws as a piece of true-to-life fiction. Jaylyn Hill plays Emmett with a ridiculous child-like wonder that’s less like a 14-year-old and more like an eight-year-old. It plays purposefully, as if this story needed to make Till even gentler to elicit more empathy. Not necessary.

To call Till upsetting isn’t a powerful enough word

What is necessary is Till itself, a film in which star Danielle Deadwyler was blatantly overlooked for an Oscar nod. On screen, her character’s pain is wholly authentic, at its height when she takes the stand during the murder trial and the camera never leaves her face for upwards of five minutes while she testifies. Her authentic strength, accentuated via her words and piercing (yet helpless) looks, deserves credit for that moment alone, let alone the rest.

To call Till upsetting isn’t a powerful enough word. From the egregious acts of deep south racism to the subtle ones, Till does not hold back on blasting an inexcusable cultural norm, and for the murder itself, one that took an unbelievable 67 years to turn into a federal crime. Meanwhile, the perpetrators lived freely (and one of them still does) because of a disinterested court and bogus jury selection.

Till’s effectiveness lies in how it portrays the most literal case of racial brutality and still – STILL – justice wasn’t served. A black mother grieved, the white men and woman laughed. Emmett Till’s murder was an unforgivable crime; what followed was even more so, because the emotional weight shouldered by Mamie Till (Deadwyler) is so unrelenting, she lived with it the rest of her life, knowing the guilty men were let go.

Consider Till needed to exist at all, to bring this story to a mass audience in a gruesomely truthful recounting because how easy it is to forget. That isn’t a fault of the movie so much as how many of these stories and racist tragedies continue to stain our society. Till’s events seem unfathomable. Imagine then not wanting this slice of American history taught because it might make some people feel bad. It should. Every time.


Surprisingly bright, heavily saturated, and attractive, Till shines on Blu-ray. Contrast swings heavily toward intensity, layering the imagery beautifully. Depth looks spectacular. It’s a shame this didn’t get a 4K release.

Color strikes from the first frames, warmly tinged and pure, with that slight vintage, sepia tint. Reds, yellows, and blues produce an attractive, varied palette.

While noisy in places, the overall look is clean, that from a pristine digital source. It’s stellar. Fidelity thrives, especially in close, but the resolution and sharpness keep the imagery crisp. An occasional haze doesn’t diminish anything, as the texture sustains the same level regardless.


Given a widely set 7.1 soundstage to play with, ambiance creates a convincing wall of sound, whether that’s insects in a cotton field or inside bars as music blares. Directionality keeps spacing wide, drifting between speakers as needed.

Music primarily drives the low-end, the thump enough to generate range, even if it’s unspectacular.


Absolutely nothing, which is rather appalling considering the possibility to further explore the real world incident.

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


Crushing, maddening, and infuriating, Till captures this moment of injustice with proper emotional weight.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 41 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray:

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