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  • Warning: Spoilers
    A towering classic of American cinematic power. Martin Scorsese teams up with one of the most intense actors of that time to create a masterpiece of urban alienation. Paul Schrader's magnificent script paints a portrait of loneliness in the largest city of the world. Travis never once enters into a meaningful relationship with any character anywhere in the film. He is the most hopelessly alone person I've ever encountered on film.

    He is alone with his thoughts, and his thoughts are dark ones. The film fools you on a first viewing. Is Travis an endearing eccentric? Sure, he's odd, but he's so polite, and he's got a quirky sense of humor. His affection for Betsy is actually rather endearing. But on a second view, you see it for what it is. The audience comes to see Travis's psychosis gradually, but there's actually far less development than one might think. When he talks about cleaning up the city, the repeat viewer knows he doesn't mean some sort of Giuliani-facelift. This is less a film about a character in development as it is a kind of snapshot. To be sure, it takes the stimulus to provoke the response, but does that imply some kind of central change in the character?

    Tremendous supporting roles are brought to life through vivid performances by Keitel and Foster especially. Shepard's character, Betsy, is little more than a foil to highlight Travis's utter alienation from society, but she is still impeccably portrayed. With only two scenes that don't center on Travis, it is unavoidably De Niro's show. The life with which the supporting cast imbues their characters is a credit to themselves, and to the director's willingness to let the film develop from the intersection of diverse ideas and approaches. What would the plot lose by eliminating the Albert Brooks character (Tom)? Nothing at all. He makes almost no impact on Travis's life, which is where the plot lives. But his inclusion makes the film as a whole much richer and fuller.

    As a piece of American cinema history, this film will live forever. But far more important than that, this film will survive as a universal, ever-relevant examination of the workings of the alienated mind. The story doesn't end when the credits roll. We know Travis will snap again. But the story doesn't end with Travis either. It continues today in the cities and in the schools. The film is about the brutal power of the disaffected mind.

    This film didn't cause the incidents in Colombine, or Hawaii, or Seattle, or wherever you care to look, even with all of its disturbing images of violence. It didn't cause those things. It predicted them.
  • francheval13 February 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    The script of "Taxi Driver" is built like a diary, the diary of a very ordinary guy who gets hired as a night taxi driver back from Vietnam, because he can't sleep at night. A very ordinary guy who tries to break his isolation, but can't, while violence accumulates inside him. One of those unnoticed people with dark things on their mind, one of those who break up the news one day with some extraordinary outburst of rage, to fall back immediately into anonymity.

    The gradual transformation of man into beast in this movie is chilling. It's still funny and pathetic when the hero threatens himself in front of the mirror ("you're talking to me?"), but when he comes out with a mohawk hairdo and dark glasses, it is obvious that nasty stuff is going to take place. As in "A Clockwork Orange", violence is recuperated by society depending on what purpose it is used for. Whereas he was about to murder the candidate for presidency, "god's lonely man" fails and instead kills a vicious pimp who exploits teenage prostitutes. The potential criminal becomes a hero for a day.

    Such stories happen everywhere of course, but it seems that the bewildering atmosphere of New York City's summer night was the best choice. "Taxi Driver" gives us a very realistic approach of New York, in a way that is not seen on screen so often, at least not anymore, whilst that city is probably the one in the world that has been filmed the biggest number of times.

    Most of the movie takes place at night. The credits open on the blazing lights of the yellow taxi cab moving slowly in the dark rainy streets. A kaleidoscope of neonlight appears through the dripping windows as the driver's eyes blink in the front mirror. The night is the hero's universe, it's the time when "all the animals come out", as he says. By contrast, the few daylight scenes look somewhat off-key, but this was definitely intentional.

    The final scene still appears today as extremely violent, but at least, it shows murder for what it is. Brutal, ugly, crude. It is something one tends to forget about after seeing so many police series where people get shot so often that it gets casual. Real violence is not casual when you face it, and here is a film that makes you face it.

    The directing is first class and deservedly made path for Scorsese as a world renowned artist. Some techniques he used here are unusual for American cinema, like focusing on details for a few seconds. The movie is enhanced by an excellent music soundtrack by jazz composer Bernard Herrman who died before the picture was even released.

    Two of the actors also deservedly made it to stardom. Robert de Niro plays a very unglamorous character, but his presence on screen is so intense that it's no wonder it made such an impression. As for Jodie Foster, she already appeared in films as a child, but playing a teenage prostitute was certainly not an easy challenge, and probably it was that role that really turned her into a major actress.

    "Taxi Driver" was a big hit when it came out, both for the public and the critics. It won the Palme d'Or in Cannes, and served as a trend setter for many later films, like for instance Quentin Tarantino's and Abel Ferrara's. But even today, the original model seems difficult to emulate, probably because achieving a masterpiece is a rare thing, by definition.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Taxi Driver, the classic that made Robert DeNiro Robert DeNiro. It's amazing to see how far this man has come in cinema, some of my friends ask me questions about films and advice, one of my friends had asked if they wanted to see where Bobby got the big notice I usually recommend Taxi Driver, granted he was in The Godfather Part 2 and was incredible, but Taxi Driver made him stand out as a strong lead actor. Taxi Driver is just all together a great film that is absolutely perfection. Martin Scorcesse who also was just really starting out made this movie that brought us back to the film noir genre. He made this great classic and I don't even think he realized how much it would stand against the test of time, to this day we still know this film and even if you don't know it, you know the infamous speech "You talking' to me?". This is a film about isolation, loneliness, and self destruction at it's worst.

    Travis Bickle who claims to be an honorably discharged Marine it is implied that he is a Vietnam veteran is a lonely and depressed young man of 26. He settles in Manhattan, where he becomes a night time taxi driver due to chronic insomnia. Bickle spends his restless days in seedy porn theaters and works 12 or 14 hour shifts during the evening and night time hours carrying passengers among all five boroughs of New York City. Bickle becomes interested in Betsy, a campaign volunteer for New York Senator Charles Palantine. She is initially intrigued by Bickle and agrees to a date with him after he flirts with her over coffee and sympathizes with her own apparent loneliness. On their date, however, Bickle is clueless about how to treat a woman and thinks it would be a good idea to take her to a sex film. Offended, she leaves him and takes a taxi home alone. The next day he tries to reconcile with Betsy, phoning her and sending her flowers, but all of his attempts are in vain. Rejected and depressed, Bickle's thoughts begin to turn violent. Disgusted by the petty street crime that he witnesses while driving through the city, he now finds a focus for his frustration and begins a program of intense physical training. He buys a number of pistols from an illegal dealer and practices a menacing speech in the mirror, while pulling out a pistol that he attached to a home-made sliding action holster on his right arm "You talking' to me?". Bickle is revolted by what he considers the moral decay around him. One night while on shift, Iris, a 12-year-old child prostitute, gets in his cab, attempting to escape her pimp. Shocked by the occurrence, Bickle fails to drive off and the pimp, Sport, reaches the cab. Later seeing Iris on the street he pays for her time, although he does not have sex with her and instead tries to convince her to leave this way of life behind. But after her rejection as well, Travis decides to take things into his own hands, "Pow!".

    This is one of the most memorable movies of all time and has really stood it's ground. It's personally one of my favorites and made me fall in love with Robert DeNiro all over again. The script to Taxi Driver is just so incredibly powerful and the performances were just perfect. Jodie Foster, this little girl at the time was such a presence on screen, she pulls in what was a very tricky performance and was hauntingly beautiful. Cybill Sheppard was also very beautiful and I was absolutely in love with her character and felt so bad for her. Everything about Taxi Driver is just great, I don't know how much I could go on about the love I have for this film. It's a film that you will never forget and trust me, if you haven't seen it, go out and rent it immediately, you won't regret it. It's bloody, it's twisted, it's crazy, but it's one of the best films of all time.

    10/10
  • Travis Bickle is a Vietnam veteran who cannot sleep at night and just ends up travelling around. To try and use the time effectively he becomes a taxi driver. Things start to look up for him as he works nights and slowly starts to live a little bit. He meets a girl, Betsy, and arranges to see her a few times despite the fact that he is a little bit out of the ordinary – a quality that seems to interest her. His connection to the night allows him to see young prostitute Iris being bullied by her pimp Matthew and he begins to see his role to perhaps save her – him playing his part in cleaning up the sewer that he feels New York has become. However when his view of normal life puts Betsy off him he starts to retreat more and more into the night, looking for meaning in his life and growing more and more outraged by the world he is part of.

    Hardly the most uplifting of films it is engaging and impressive and truly deserves the reputation it has. Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader have produced a film that convincingly portrays a man cut out of society who has the slightest connection to normality before finding it eroded away. The script is brilliant because the detail is engaging but it is this descent into a very modern type of madness that drives the film forward. Travis has just enough about him that is recognisable that it makes it so easy to go along with the rest of his madness. A major part of this is getting the feeling right about living in a cesspit; a city that seems to have forgotten its way morally – New York is the strongest example but elements of it could be parts of any city I suspect. In painting this world in such a real way, Scorsese has made Travis all the more convincing and, to a point, all the easier to follow in his fall. Like I said it is not a film to morally uplift you but one that is depressingly fair. There is no redemption in this modern world and although it appears that the violence at the end somehow redeems Travis in reality by showing "society" accepting his action it drags the rest of us down nearer the world that he hates and has become part of. I love King of Comedy for the same reason albeit in a different world.

    Scorsese injects a real understanding of the place and a real sense of foreboding into even the earliest scenes. He inserts clever and meaningful shots into scenes that other directors might just have filmed straight and his choice of scene and shot compliments the script is depicting Travis descending into madness. What makes the film even better is De Niro showing the type of form that makes his recent form such a major disappointment. He is outstanding as he moves Travis from being relatively normal to being eaten up from the inside out. His eventual implosion is impressive but it is only as impressive as the gradual slide he depicts over the course of the film. Although he dominates it, others impress as well. Foster stands out in a small role, while Keitel makes a good impression as the pimp. Shepherd is not quite as good but her character was not as well written as the others so it isn't all down to her. Regardless, the film belongs to De Niro and although the quotable scenes are the ones that are remembered it is in the quieter moments where he excels and shows genuine talent and understanding.

    Overall an impressive and morally depressing film that deserves its place in cinematic history. The portrayal of a city and a man slipping into moral insanity is convincing and engaging and it shows how well to "do" modern madness and the effects of the moral void of parts of society. Scorsese directs as a master despite this being at an early stage in his career and De Niro is chillingly effective as he simply dominates the film in quiet moments and quotable moments alike. I rarely use phrases like "modern classic" because I think they are lazy but this is one film that certainly deserves such a label.
  • Taxi Driver is one of the best films ever made. This is one of those films that you do not get tired of seeing and every time you watch it you realize a little detail that you have not seen before. Excellent actors, a good director, an impressive soundtrack and a real story are the main appeals of this film.

    This film is about loneliness, about the isolation of a man in a society full of scum. His objective is to finish with the scum of the streets. The story uses a taxi driver as a metaphor of loneliness and it has some kind of irony because we can see that a city which is full of people can be the most lonely place for a man. The long nights in the city, the night environment full of whores, junkies, pimps and thieves are the main elements of the world in which Travis Bickle lives. Travis is an misunderstood guy who is seeking desperately for some kind of company because as he says 'loneliness has followed me all my life, everywhere' but at the same time he seems not to do anything to avoid his situation and it is seen when he goes with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) to a porn cinema. At the end of the film the character makes real his most violent fantasies, with a look of certain soldiers from Vietnam, and he behaves like this because of his loneliness, his alienation and because he does not find any sense to his life. The violent behaviour becomes Travis into a hero, although he had killed many people and he could do it again. Although he acts with an extreme violence the spectator understand him and the reasons why he acts that way. The soundtrack of the film, which is composed by Bernard Herrmann, inspires some kind of loneliness and sometimes it is absolutely terrifying like in a horror film. This music and the slow camera showing the streets help to introduce the spectator into the world of Travis, to know what he is thinking about.

    In general I cannot say any negative aspect of this film because I have not found anything bad. Although it is a film of the 70s it is not an old-fashioned movie because the essence of the story, the reality that is shown on it, can be perfectly referred to the current society. This film has the privilege of having made famous the sentence ‘You talking' to me? You talking' to me?' which will remain in the history of cinema. This is an authentic masterpiece.
  • jaredkjacoby17 July 2020
    10/10
    Wow...
    Warning: Spoilers
    The story follows Travis Bickle, a lonely taxi driver in New York City with some pretty big mental and social issues. He makes a lot of small talk and he struggles connecting with people throughout the film. He plots to murder a presidential candidate known as Palantine and a guy who has a sexual relationship with an underage prostitute. He also grows fond of a woman that works with, but he struggles making a good impression.

    Taxi Driver is a movie that I have always wanted to watch, but I have been a bit nervous about how I would view the film. However, I really wanted to start watching a couple more really acclaimed films before I go back to school. This seemed like the perfect film to watch on a night like this. Little did I know how much I would fall in love with the film in every scene.

    I am just going to say it. Taxi Driver is one of the best movies that I have watched since I have been in quarantine and I have seen a bunch of films since my school closed. Seriously, it is in my top 10 at least. I cannot remember the last time I watched a drama where I was so engrossed into the story and world of a film. It is one of the few films that truly sucked me into a new world that made me anxious about what was going to happen next. Every scene in this film is spectacular. I cannot really think of a favorite scene. It is hard to think about where to start with this movie. Taxi Driver is one of those films that has multiple layers to the story. It is about the violence that goes on the street, it is about insanity, it has some themes about how underage prostitution is absolutely immoral and it is ultimately a character study. The film is about Travis Bickle and how he deals with everything surrounding him. It is about his descent to madness that drives his actions and makes him view the world the way he views it. Travis is one of the most unpredictable characters I have ever seen in a film. I never knew what he would do next in any scene that he is in. That is one of the reasons why I found the film to be so tense. He is a pretty morally grey character and one of best ones I have seen. Yes, he does some creepy things, but he also does some good deeds throughout the film. His friendship with Iris is a great example of his good side. He is a great protagonist that I really did not know whether to root for or root against. His motivations are terrific as well.

    Robert De Niro's performance as Travis Bickle is nothing short of phenomenal. Every single line of dialogue and every expression he gives lands flawlessly. It is one of the best performances I have ever seen. A standout scene is one where Bickle is in the cab with another man who is just threatening to murder his own wife. I could feel De Niro's expression of fear and discomfort during that scene. He is playing as a character who has gone pretty crazy, but here, it looks like he is going have a heart attack hearing the way this guy is talking. It is one of the best acted scenes I have ever seen. De Niro's performance is absolutely spectacular.

    As for the rest of the cast, Jodie Foster plays as Iris and she is terrific in the role. She is a standout with her performance and the breakfast scene is a perfect example of it. She was just so natural in the entire scene. Nothing from her performance felt melodramatic or forced. It is even more impressive considering how young Foster was during the making of this film. Harvey Keitel plays as Sport, the antagonist I think? He was fantastic in the film and he was probably one of the most despicable villains I have ever seen in a film. It is a bit hard to notice at first, but it truly shows the more you think about his grotesque actions. Keitel played this character perfectly. Cybil Shepherd plays as Betsy and she only had a couple of scenes, but they did not waste a single moment with her. Shepherd delivers a great performance and Betsy was surprisingly good character. She plays a pretty significant role on showing what Travis' character and personality is like. The rest of the supporting cast is amazing too. All of the supporting characters are significant to the plot because they all have an affect on Travis in some way.

    The tone and pacing are both perfect. This film is really dark and there is pretty much no humor to speak of. It works with the story because there is really nothing that could be funny in here. Some stories in film work even better without any humor. Not many, but there are a couple of them out there. Taxi Driver is one of those films. The film is about awkwardness and tension and the tone delivers on that. The movie is perfectly paced. It is neither too fast nor too slow. It allows the story and characters to develop accordingly and it builds on the tension of the climax with each scene at such a smooth rate. This movie has some of the most flawless pacing I have ever scene. It is a good reason why the film is so engaging.

    The cinematography is stunning and it holds up beautifully. There are so many impressive shots in this film including an impossible shot that took me by complete surprise. More than anything though, the cinematography is great because it captures that mysterious, scary tone of the city at night. Every scene that takes place in the cab at night is haunting to look at. The dull colors make the lights stand out even more. Speaking of lighting, the lighting is very creative as well. It is easy to see all of the conversation scenes that take place at night as well as any action that takes place. The lighting in the cab scenes are particularly superb and unique. The cinematography is amazing and just about every shot is interesting to look at.

    The climax is one of the most intense and insane that I have ever scene. It is brutal to watch as it is nail-biting. It is also very well-shot and edited. It was never confusing. It was just full of tension and blood. I legitimately did not know how this film would end and the climax surprised me as well. The soundtrack is terrific. Every musical piece fits the song perfectly. There is some catchy jazz music throughout, but the best piece of music is the moment after the climax where you hear this eerie piece of music. It is one of the most haunting bits of music I have ever heard. It made me feel like I was walking in the aftermath of the bloodbath that took place in the climax. Again, it is weird, but music can make a movie feel more like an experience sometimes and the soundtrack of this film did just that. The credits song was great too.

    In a nutshell, I liked Taxi Driver. In fact, I liked it more than I ever thought I would. It is so different from anything that I have ever seen. Not only those it bring some thought-provoking ideas to the table, but it also has one of the best and most interesting stories in a film. This is the first Martin Scorsese film that I watched and I did not know if I would like his films or not. Now, I want to watch all of his films after this. Taxi Driver is one of the best movies I have ever seen and it might be a new favorite for me.
  • The impact that "Taxi Driver" had in its day hasn't diminished, on the contrary, it has acquired a relevance of Shakesperean proportions. Travis's loneliness is a hyper representation of the same loneliness most humans have experienced at different times in different measures. It is always associated with a nightmare and Martin Scorsese delivers it like a nightmare. Travis, possessed by Robert De Niro at the zenith of his powers, cruises in his taxi enveloped in Bernard Herrman and we, well, we're the passengers and everything looks terrifying and familiar at the same time. Paul Schrader sensational screenplay comes to life with the jolting force of a rude awakening. Like it happens, more often than not, with masterpieces, it signed in a rather direct way the lives of the ones who live it in a movie theater and the ones who made it. Scorsese being the giant that he is, survived it and will continue startling us I'm sure but I also bet that for years everything he did was compared to this movie. De Niro and his "You looking at me" became such an iconic phrase that even he himself ended up impersonating it. Jodie Foster awoke the insane devotion of a real life would be killer and New York, the greatest city in the world was shown with its underbelly up. A work of art, a superlative reminder of what film could actually give us and very rarely does.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If a picture is worth a thousand words then this movie (moving picture) is worth a million words, which is why it has probably generated at least a million words.

    What can one say. The obvious: that "Taxi Driver" is great, it is. That it is a masterpiece, it is. What sets this film apart from so many other films, including great films, is that it is an enigma. Every time I watch this film I see something else, I notice something else, I feel something else, I wonder something else. And I am, clearly, not the only one who reacts to the film this way that is why it lends itself to endless speculation and discussion.

    Since so many positive reviews have been made, rather than add my own red hot glowing review I thought I would address those people who have written that they don't like "Taxi Driver" because, they say, they find it dull and boring, hard to follow, etc. These people miss some important points about the film.

    ONE, "Taxi Driver" is NOT an action film. If you want an action film watch "Die Hard" and its numerous sequels, or "Lethal Weapon" and its sequels, not to mention "Rambo" and thousands of other "action flicks." Nothing wrong with them, per se. Nothing wrong with liking them either. But is wrong to put down "Taxi Driver" because of what it is not.

    TWO, "Taxi Driver" is about loneliness and loneliness is characterized by an almost crushing boredom and emptiness and Travis Bickle's character reflects that. His life is dull and boring, hardly anything happens to him and that is what "Taxi Driver" shows - Bickle's pathetic life.

    THREE, some people say that they don't understand the plot, Bickle's attitudes and behaviour, etc. But that is because "Taxi Driver" is about a man who is profoundly emotionally disturbed although he (and his buddies) don't seem to know it. His actions aren't rational because he isn't rational. His actions make no sense because he makes no sense. Offhand, I can't think of any other film that has depicted mental illness as well as "Taxi Driver" and no film that attempts to show the world as seen by someone like Travis Bickle.

    There you go: three reasons to address the most common criticisms of the film with one notable exception, its controversial ending, but THAT is a whole topic in itself which is just more proof of why "Taxi Driver" is so worthwhile - when viewers aren't sure what actually happens in the end (Is Travis hallucinating as he is dying? Is that what the slow moving overhead tracking shot suggests? Or does he really become a hero in the media and get realeased back into the world with his buddies? Etc, etc.) The questions and issues raised by "Taxi Driver" just go one and on.

    Now if after reading the above you still don't think "Taxi Driver" is a great film, I can't help you. I am NOT saying you have to like (or love) "Taxi Driver" just appreciate it or at least acknowledge its greatness even if it isn't your cup of tea. Actually, I don't love "Taxi Driver" because it doesn't lend itself to love. It is too disturbing a picture precisely because it is way too close to reality, it cuts too close to the bone for my comfort (or rather, discomfort). It is not comfortable to watch because it isn't supposed to be. So if "Taxi Driver" makes you feel uncomfortable and uneasy it should because real life is uncomfortable and uneasy (unless you are born rich or something).

    Finally, after watching it again for the nth time I have begun to notice (and feel) just how smooth "Taxi Driver" is. The overall feel and flow of the film is incredibly smooth in which not only each scene but each and every movement and gesture flows into the other imperceptibly. Sometimes I play back scences and sequences over and over to catch how it happens. In fact, I see it happening and still can't quite figure out how it is done but I have a hunch - DeNiro. DeNiro is just amazing in this film. If you haven't done it already, watch it with the remote in your hand and play some of the scenes in slow motion and you will SEE what I am talking about. Only DeNiro could do what he does. The sheer minimalism of his performance is just stunning. How he gets so much from so little never ceases to amaze me. DeNiro's performance in "Taxi Driver" only reminds me of what sports announcer Curt Gowdy exclaimed after one of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson's incredible plays in the 1970 World Series,"This guy is another world!"
  • lost-in-limbo30 October 2004
    A lonely Vietnam veteran who has insomnia spends his nights as a taxi driver in the dirty streets of New York, where he encounters a young prostitute who he tries to help make a difference.

    This is a very good film and one of Martin Scorsese best (Goodfellas being my fave). An excellent portrayal from Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle the cabbie and good performances from Jodie Foster as the child prostitute Iris Steensman, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle and Harvey Keitel as a pimp called Sport.

    You actually get drawn into the isolation and anger that Travis is feeling towards these lowlifes and because of that you really feel sympathy for him. Though after a while the loneliness and the city really starts to haunt Travis's mind, causing violent instincts and paranoia.

    This film is filled with such memorable lines e.g.Travis Bickle 'You talking to me? Well I'm the only one here.' and the many powerful scenes that stay in your head after it's finished. The hypnotic cinematography is a standout, as if your seeing the harsh & gritty New York streets and twisted people through the eyes of Travis when he is driving his cab. A great screenplay, a stunning score by Bernard Herrmann and a superb atmosphere created.

    This is a brutally compelling and bleak look at a decaying and corrupt society of the 70's. An unsettling gem of a film.

    5/5
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Taxi Driver" starts off with a beautiful and perfectly fitting score from composer, Bernard Hermann, as we see the blurred city of New York as the fast paced lights from cars and signs are distorted and put into slow motion. "Taxi Driver" is one of Martin Scorsese' finest achievements as he teams up with Robert De Niro. Travis Bickle (De Niro) is the title character. The acting as a whole is exceptional. Harvey Keitel has an extremely small part as a pimp named Sport, and he brings a forgettable character to center stage. Keitel is so good in this you wish you would get to see more from his character. Jodie Foster plays the prostitute under Sports rule. Iris, is 12 years old, and for a 14 year old actress (at the time), Foster deals with some heavy and extremely adult material, and she handles it incredibly well. Keitel and Foster have a scene together where Sport holds her and slowly dances with her as he whispers into her ear about how lucky he is to have a woman like her. It's an utterly repulsive scene. The look on his face mixed with the calm and safe look on the face of Iris, is pretty disgusting. It's extremely well acted even though it's a pretty quick and minor scene. In this one scene we see the type of control Sport has over the young, impressionable child that he abuses and takes advantage of. These are the kinds of things that set Travis Bickle off. The film is a classic that dissects the fallout of one mans loneliness and his thirst for acceptance, recognition and notice. The editing is very good, the direction is great, but it's carried by a magnificent script from Paul Schrader and a great lead performance. This probably stands as De Niro's second best work to "Raging Bull," and among the finest acting performances of all time.

    Travis Bickle is the self proclaimed, "God's lonely man." Bickle walks amongst the people on the filthy, crowded streets of New York City. Wherever he goes, he goes unnoticed; like a ghost meandering through life's morbid boredom of repetitiveness as each day endlessly runs into the next. Bickle suffers from an inability to sleep so he goes to the porno theaters after 12 hour shifts. His mind is constantly racing as he takes various forms of pills and abuses alcohol. The former Vietnam Veteran has a damaged psyche that continues to get worse and worse as the disgust for the lowlifes of New York eat away at his consciences. The first act of the films starts with a normal looking man, with a regular hair cut and regular job in an irregular city. We watch Bickle go through everyday routines and his work habit is the main focus to derive attention away from his bloodlust. We don't see much wrong with him other than some signs of frustration and restlessness. He decides that his body needs some fine tuning as he reverts back to his days as a Marine. He meets up with a gun dealer and buys three pistols and a .44 magnum. He's ready for war, and the table is set.

    The ending of the film is controversial for its vagueness and its inability to state a clear purpose of reality or fantasy. The film strongly suggests a dream-like state as we watch with a long running overhead shot (possibly signifying Bickle's departure from the world?) of the carnage left in Bickle's wake. Then there's the music of a dream inducing state at the end of the scene, which is the strongest hint towards a dream like state. What we do know is that Travis Bickle takes the lives of lowlifes, degenerates, and the scum of the earth. He's treated as the hero and glorified by the media for his actions. This is a slap in the face to the media for finding that a vigilante did the right thing because it was for a good cause: Kill 5 scumbags, save 1. The final scene of the film is also controversial. We see Betsy for the first time since their big fight and she's no longer disgusted with Travis. Now the media has changed her opinion of him too. Travis has reverted back to the same look he spouted in the first act of the film. He's quiet, reserved and humble. He looks harmless. As the ride home goes along we find out that Palantine has won the nomination. After, Travis drops Betsy off, he leaves without taking her money and with a smile on his face he gives her a simple, "So long." As Travis drives off, he menacingly looks back into the mirror, representing a problem still exists, then we fade back to the start of the film. With the symbolic scenes throughout the film depicting Bickle's brooding, boiling, rage within; symbolizing the fact that nothing has changed. The near death experience doesn't cure him. The accolades from the media and the recognition from everyday people doesn't make it any better. He's still ready for war.
  • Despite what some might see as limited by technical flaws and/or as an overly simplistic plot, Taxi Driver deserves its critical reputation as a cinematic masterpiece. Some 23 years later, the existential plight of Travis Bickle, "God's lonely man," continues to pack a hard emotional punch. In fact, it's hard to know where to begin when praising the elements of this film - such elements as the dark location shots of a (now gone) seedy Times Square, the cinema verite settings of the cabbies and campaign workers, the magnificent Bernard Hermann score, Paul Schrader's fine script, the memorable performances of Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, and Peter Boyle all must be mentioned. However, the brilliance of this film is primarily a result of the brilliance of De Niro and Scorsese, one of the greatest actor-director teams in movie history. This is an unforgettable film and rates a 10 out of 10, in my estimation.
  • As much as I love Scorsese, Taxi Driver did not appeal to me.

    For me the film was quite dull and boring with little suspense, drama and extremely slow pacing.

    I'm intrigued to know why this film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, as well as its ongoing rave as a classic.

    Perhaps I missed the point of the movie, as I was waiting it to end from half way through.

    However I did notice some positives. Firstly it is clear, De Niro's performance as a troubled veteran-turned-taxi driver was masterful, and he showed a clear character development during the film. Another positive for me is the aesthetics of New York, as its darker sides are shown. Lastly the score was one that stood out for me, with relaxing music in scenes of driving.

    6/10 - a good effort, but too much caution over ensuring not too quick pacing.
  • alayashwahab22 October 2020
    Masterpiece movie by the great Martin Scorsese the movie 10/10 by the shots the talks with out dialogue the performance is one of the best if not the best performance i ever saw in my life shame on Oscars for not giving Robert de Niro the Oscar for best performance, with the Perfect writing,dialogue and plot, one of the best movies have ever made in cinema.
  • Those who did not understand this film and gave it a poor rating are likely the same "people" who raved over The Joker or Blade Runner 2049. If you cannot comprehend this plot, you should most likely take up another hobby; or just stick to watching Pokemon movies. Real films do not hold your hand like a child and walk you to the restroom.
  • So much has been written and talked about 'Taxi Driver' that it seems almost redundant to add anything more. But watching it again the other night for the nth time I was, as I have been every single time I've seen it, struck by just how perfect this movie is. It is as powerful and disturbing now as it was twenty-five years ago. It has not only NOT aged, it gets better and more relevant every year. This is without doubt a modern classic, and one of the handful of truly great, timeless movies.

    Scorsese and Schrader went on to make other great movies after this, both separately ('The King Of Comedy', 'Light Sleeper') and together ('Raging Bull', 'The Last Temptation Of Christ'), but this is easily the best movie of their careers. And Robert De Niro's too. He has yet to top his stunning performance here as the deeply disturbed and alienated Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle, cabbie and would be assassin. This character has not surprisingly entered movie legend.

    Scorsese surrounds De Niro with a first rate supporting cast, including small but effective roles from Harvey Keitel ('Reservoir Dogs'), Peter Boyle ('Hardcore'), the underrated Victor Argo ('The King Of New York') and Joe Spinell ('Maniac'). Albert Brooks and Jodie Foster are also very good, and even Cybil Shepherd, the butt of many jokes, is fine as Bickle's obsession.

    When you combine these actors, Schrader's outstanding script, and Scorsese's brilliant direction, with the stunning cinematography (Michael Chapman) and haunting score (Hitchcock fave Bernard Herrmann's final effort), you have yourself a truly unforgettable cinematic experience. If you haven't seen 'Taxi Driver' I urge you to do so immediately. It is a masterpiece, pure and simple.
  • First of all it must be understood that I am the most stingy person on the planet with 10 out of 10 ratings as I write this I have 12 (one of them is a game) out of the 530 or so ratings I have this will of course change in the future of course and as I see more movies. Let's get to the review. I mean anything I can say will have already been said about this wonderful movie. The performances are great. Everything is great its simple. Not the best Scorsese film BUT one of them. Worth watching just for the rainy streets of New York alone. I must also say that Jodie Foster nails her role in this movie. And I know this is a bold statement but I think this is one of the top character studys of all time. For flaws? I would not say this movie has any to this day holds up as one of the greatest films in history.

    This is a fantastic movie that Again proves that De Niro and Scorsese is a legendary duo.

    10/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The plot it's intense, whit many layers of thoughts. Like the City in the pespective of the cabby, his opinion of its citizens and the idea of the ideal person he claim exist. The performance of Robert in this movie, it's one of the betters already accomplished. Certainly one of the bests movies.
  • A nicely made dark and majestic experience, see the world through the eyes of a weird taxi driver, as his character progresses from a total embarrassment to a mad dog. The movie sends a clear message about society and human ego, and how a man's pride can drift him into insanity.

    The mood is nice, a prime example on a classic Noir movie, it builds up and prepares you mentally for the big ending.. an ending that failed to live up to the hype that the movie has built in you.. though it had a short yet exciting action scene the ending is pretty simple and is more about delivering a simple message rather than leaving you amazed or satisfied.

    The dark comedy in the movie is pretty clear, it shows you how messed up society really is, the movie was executed flawlessly when it comes to cinematic and production, but it will disappoint you at the very end, the ending was just too "MEH" to bear, especially after an excellent build of events preceding it, such a pity.

    I'm sure the movie was a big hit at the time of its release (after the Vietnam war), but I'm not sure it would be enjoyed the same at our current time, so let me put it this way: - If you enjoy a dark Noir mood with nice character development then watch it now. - If you enjoy movies with subliminal messages then add this one to your "watch when I have nothing else to watch" list. - If you're looking for a great story with a nice twist to it, I wouldn't recommend Taxi Driver.
  • Taxi Driver is a Neo-Noir crime drama, directed by Martin Scorsese. It is starring Robert de Niro and Jodie Foster and is about a mentally unstable taxi driver who feels a need for violent action and wants to help a young woman to escape from her bad situation. It takes place in late 70s New York when the city wasn't the nice clean city as we know it today but it was a city full of criminals and unemployment. Taxi Driver is a really interesting character study and although it's slow paced it doesn't feel boring. Although the first two acts are slow paced, the final act is very thrilling and brutal. The ending makes you keep guessing. The Soundtrack composed by Bernard Herrmann captures that feeling of 70s New York very well. It has very beautiful cinematography which is very dark and rainy the whole time which sets a great mood for the film. The best thing about this movie is by far Robert de Niro's performance. He does a very good job at portraying this mentally unstable veteran, who can't fit in the society anymore. Taxi Driver has very long dialogues that are well-written.
  • We certainly have here one of Martin Scorsese's best and most striking films, one of Robert De Niro's best performances and one of the biggest Oscar wrongdoers of 1977, in which the film ran for four categories, including best film, but won none. . Certainly one of the things that stands out the most is the New York setting, the city is practically a character in the film, the soundtrack is also great, the direction of Scorsese needs no comments, and the feature has what is in my opinion the best character study in the history of cinema. Judie Foster also looks great in the film, showing that at just twelve years of age she was an excellent actress, and even received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. Absolutely fantastic film in all aspects.
  • I've gotta say! Didnt't quite like it the first, it took me a second view to truly appreciate the genius of this movie. De Niro is just outstanding as Travis, and Scorsese is in top form too, only maybe rivaled by Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street. It is not a action, crazy plot-twists, guy meets girl, happy ending kind of movie. What it is, is one of the best character studies and acting ever done. Something to identify with to the unindefiable, a study of what society does to people. A anti-hero bloody masterpiece.
  • Movie has deep meaning for the seeker. Amazing Direction in 1976, Decades ahead of it's time.
  • cinevox15 January 2003
    Scorsese's best. Not too many hyper-critical reviews of this film have anything near as intelligent to say about what the director and the screenwriter had in mind when they created this American gem.

    To those people that have seen it and thought it was "slow" or the pacing was sub par, they don't know what they're talking about; "Taxi Driver" is about the gradual and eventual take-over of insanity, and not about violence, action-shoot-'em-up 'slash' car chase... or whatever they expected from it. The modern audience today is expecting everything--comedy, drama, unbearable suspense, spfx--all rolled-up into one-stop entertainment... and no, I'm not anybody's grandfather, or here to tell you that movies were great in my day, but, viewers, lighten up already.

    De Niro, and the rest of the cast, do a serviceable job in this micro-cosmic window into the life of Travis Bickle--a Vietnam vet--who, true, writes mind-numbing entries in his diary, leads a, for the most part, dull existance as a cabbie, and strikes out with a female political campaigner who, after Travis becomes a hero, discovers she is indeed attracted to unstable, sometimes violent chauffeurs.

    The rest of this movie's story is for the less initiated viewer; decide whether you've truly become desensitized to sexual and violent content in today's films... Ah, forget it! You have to have lived at least some of which goes on in "Taxi Driver," or you've just been plain lucky in this life so far.
  • "Travis Bickle" has to be one of the most fascinating characters ever put on film, and this has to still rank as one of the best post-film noir era "noirs" ever made.

    Yeah the story is a bit seedy but it's an incredibly interesting portrait of a mentaly unbalanced cab driver (Bickle, played by Robert De Niro) and his obsessions with "cleaning up" New York City.

    In addition to De Niro's stunning performance, we see a young and gorgeous Cybill Shepherd and a very, very young (12 years old) Jodie Foster. I've always wondered what kind of parents would allow their 12-year-old daughter to play a role like this, but that's another subject. Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel (with shoulder-length hair!) and Peter Boyle all lend good supporting help.

    Bickle's transformation from a "disturbed" cabbie to a fully-deranged assassin is fantastic to watch, and includes one of the classic scenes in all film history: Bickle talking to the mirror and repeating the question, "You talking' to me?" That scene, and seeing De Niro in a Mohawk haircut later at a political rally are two scenes I'll never forget.

    The more times I've watched this, the more I appreciate the cinematography and the music in here. There are some wonderful night shots of the city's oil and rain-slicked streets. Also, Bernard Herrmann eerie soundtrack is an instrumental part of the success of this film and should never be neglected in discussing this film.

    Director Martin Scorcese has made a number of well-known (but not particularly box-office successful) films, and I still think this early effort of his was his best. He's never equaled it, although I think he and De Niro almost pulled it off five years later with another whacked-out character, "Rupert Pupkin" In "The King Of Comedy."

    In any case, there is no debate that Scorcese and De Niro are a great team and that Taxi Driver is one of the most memorable movies of the Seventies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***** SPOILERS *****

    How would anyone be able to relate to Travis Bickle ? He`s a freak show , a fantasist and a loner who watches porn films in cinemas with a cola in one hand and a candy bar in another and to all intents and purposes is an assassin and a stalker , but he also strikes a cord with any man who`s been angry and young and rejected . He`s an outsider that society has turned its back on : " Why won`t you talk to me " is the heartbreaking question every young angry man screams at the world when he`s very alone

    Scorsese directs Paul Schrader`s low concept script on a shoestring budget - That`s not a criticism , quite the reverse because this leads to a hyper-realism and it`d be impossible to think that a major Hollywood studio would produce something like this nowadays where everything is about making money while playing it safe : A character study of a disturbed loner ? 12 year old prostitutes ? Vigilante executions ? Too controversial , not enough explosions , not enough CGI . If there`s a flaw in the screenplay it`s at the end where Travis wipes out the pimp business and becomes a hero which left me confused . Doesn`t society punish murderers even if they kill scum that use 12 year olds as prostitutes ? Even if he was cleared by the jury surely Travis would still have stood trial for murder ? but this is never referred to in the closing scenes , but I guess this is a comment on how society can quickly make a hero out of a villain and how a nobody can become the talk of the town , but still it seems to go against the grain of the script where we - Or at least the young males in the audience - recognise that an uncaring society is the villain where as Travis is the hero all along

    Despite the flawed ending of the screenplay ( Which is superb untill the last ten minutes ) this is still a movie masterpiece with Scorsese getting an acting tour de force from his cast . Jodie Foster as a child who sells her body on the streets of New York , a totally disturbing , brilliant performance , and DeNiro and Keitel in the same movie ! I`ve no idea if this is just hype but I heard all the stage schools in the USA were swamped at the time by applications from applicants in Compton , Hell`s Kitchen , South Central and The Bronx who`d seen DeNiro and Keitel in the " I`m hip " scene ( A scene that was totally adlibbed by the actors ) and decided that acting could be cool and macho after all . As I said I don`t know how true this is but the performances of these two actors has given a massive amount of credibility to the acting profession and it really is sad to see the DeNiro of today churn out so much garbage . This his greatest performance . I also rate it as Scorsese`s best movie

    As a footnote may I recommend to all the angry young men reading this review to track down the albums of Matt Johnson aka The The especially the mid 80s albums SOUL MINING and INFECTED which have lyrics that could have been written by Travis himself . Matt is a great fan of Scorsese and it shows
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