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It's very violent and unpleasant...though well made.
MartinHafer6 July 2018
Some movies just confuse me. They have fabulous reputations but I find them difficult to like due to their excessive and pointless violence. Well, I may just be "out of touch", since this movie is in the top 50 on IMDb ratings. However, I also worry that this film and other ultra-violent films like SCARFACE (the Pacino version) are adored by so many. We live in a violent world--that's a fact. And, I wonder how much of that violence is either exacerbated by it or it encourages good people to become desensitized to violence or even find it exciting. I hope to think I am better than that.

Now I am not saying that there weren't some really good elements to the movie and it was very well made. But, the film is so thoroughly soaked in violence and human waste that the good is grossly overshadowed. Just because the people De Niro kills at the end are bad guys doesn't mean it is entertaining or less offensive. Regardless, these sort of films are not something I enjoy.
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Still has the power to shock...
TheLittleSongbird9 January 2011
Not only one of Scorsese's best films, but one of the best of the 70s. It is very hard hitting, dark and still has the resonance and power to shock. The cinematography is measured and chilly, yet very atmospheric, while Bernard Hermann's swansong score is superb, yet more proof at how amazing a composer he was. The story is unsettling but wonderfully told, and the script is brilliantly written. Scorcese also directs impeccably, while the acting is just excellent. Robert DeNiro gives one of his best performances, the whole film is worth watching just for his performance, that's how good it is, but that's not to dismiss Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel and Cybill Sheppard in the supporting cast for they are just as good while Scorsese's own cameo is genuinely frightening. There you have it, another one of Scorsese's best with a brilliant atmosphere and mesmerising central performance. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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A Masterpiece
Michael_Elliott13 March 2009
Taxi Driver (1976)

**** (out of 4)

Scorsese's masterpiece is a raw, powerful and nerve wrecking look at depression and loneliness. The film centers on taxi driver Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a man clearly with his own demons who finds a purpose in life when he meets a 12-year-old hooker (Jodie Foster) who he plans on saving from her pimp (Harvey Keitel). To me this is one of the richest films ever made and it's one that can easily be overlooked in some circles if you don't really connect to what the film is trying to say. I didn't care too much for the movie the first few times I watched it because I was too young to really understand depression and loneliness. After I understood what those things could do to a person is when I fully became aware of the power in this film and today it remains one of the most powerful films ever made. To me the entire film is pretty much about Travis trying to find someone to fit in with but of course it never really happens until he meets the hooker. He tries fitting in with the Cybill Shepherd character but falls flat on his face. He tries fitting in with his co-workers but that doesn't work out too well. No matter what Travis tries he keeps ending up alone and as he put it, he's God's lonely man. This film works on so many levels but I think the psychological one is where it's best at. Getting us into the mind of Travis works for many reasons but the biggest keys are the direction by Scorsese, the brilliant music score by Bernard Herrmann and DeNiro's groundbreaking performance. Putting those three things together is what makes this a classic but we can also throw in the screenplay by Paul Schrader, which rightfully gives the movie the time and patience to let the Travis character grow right in front of our eyes. DeNiro's performance is certainly one for the ages, although I think he would get even better with Scorsese's RAGING BULL, which would follow in four years. His performance here is nothing short of amazing because you can't help but be terrified by this guy because of the look in DeNiro's eyes. You can't help but feel sorry for him at the same time because there are countless moments where he embarrasses himself because he simply doesn't know how to fit in. The word anti-hero gets used a lot and perhaps that's a good term but I think it's something much deeper than that. DeNiro hits all the right marks without a false note anywhere. Foster is also impressive in her few scenes in the film as is Keitel as the pimp. Shepherd is also good as his Albert Brookes and the underrated Peter Boyle who has one of the best scenes in the movie where he's trying to talk some sense into Travis. The visual look of the film is mighty impressive and Scorsese's directing style is nothing short of amazing. The slimy looking streets and the dark atmosphere are one of a kind and something many films tried to copy but could never get it as perfect as it is here. This here remains one of the greatest American films ever made and I'm really not sure any movie could top it in showing the effects that loneliness can have on a person.
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An incredibly dark thriller with an exceptional central performance
Leofwine_draca9 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Quite rightly regarded as one of the best films of all time, TAXI DRIVER is without a doubt compelling viewing. What the film lacks in plot it makes up for in characterisation: De Niro is with us from the start, we follow on his journey as he slides into extreme violence and becomes a vigilante. Although it's obvious that this man is disturbed from the very beginning - a man who considers pornography to be "just another movie", who is always at breaking point. You can't really blame him though. After all, his empty life is forever surrounded by people who don't deserve to live, who don't deserve to populate this planet, and nobody is doing anything about it. It's up to Bickle to do the dirty work himself. He is the new rain coming down on the streets to clear away all the garbage.

Just about everyone involved here is extremely lucky in not putting a foot wrong. Martin Scorsese basks in his finest hour, even later classics like GOODFELLAS just can't hold a candle to match the intensity and complexity of this film. Check out the clever cameo where he plays a passenger spying on his cheating wife. The film focuses on De Niro's character, meaning that a lot of other roles are underwritten; Cybill Shepherd appears only fleetingly as a kind of idealistic fantasy figure. Jodie Foster excels as a child prostitute, hard and yet fragile at the same time, and Harvey Keitel is suitably slimy as a no-good pimp. In small roles are Peter Boyle and Joe Spinell. However it's De Niro who commands the screen, this is his film, we see things through his eyes. I don't think his quiet, brooding darkness here has ever been matched.

There are countless moments to enjoy. Bickle talking to a 'secret service' man, a deliciously pleasant conversation full of deceit and lies; the infamous ad-libbed sequence in front of the mirror, where "You talking' to me?" became a classic movie quote; the almost tragic conversations with Iris. The ending itself is a shock, a total bloodbath made all the more horrific because the violence has been relatively tame up to then. Only three people are killed, but each shot and stabbed a number of times; fingers a blown off, necks spray blood, faces riddled with holes, heads splattering over walls. And then the ironic ending, where Bickle is revered as a hero instead of a cold-blooded killer; a more telling portrait of today's society there couldn't be. For a study of the reasons a person is driven to extreme violence, you couldn't do much better than this.
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Disturbing Look into a Disturbed Mind
SnoopyStyle5 September 2013
Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) is a disturbed ex-Marine Vietnam vet. He's suffering from insomnia, and spends his nights driving a cab. He's sexually perverted, and obsessed with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd). On top of it all, he wants to save 12 year old prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster).

DeNiro delivered one of the iconic performances of all times. Travis Bickle is one of the standards by which all performances are judged. Martin Scorsese is making a disturbing movie. It can be hard to watch at times. Scorsese uses his camera to maximum effect. As Bickle's mind drift from his co-workers, Scorsese's camera drift into the antacid fizzling in his glass. The grittiness of '70s NY is all there. Jodie Foster is shocking. Trying to watch Bickle can be a very trying experience. It isn't an easy movie. But it is a masterpiece.
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Gut Wrenching
Hitchcoc22 February 2007
It's interesting to read the reviews by people who really disliked this film. Can we dislike virtually every character in a movie and yet keep watching it, even respect it? I don't have a definitive answer to this, but I was captivated by this film. I get this feeling every time I see films that glorify organized crime. DeNiro's performance so surpasses any doubt as to the content of this film that I couldn't take my eyes off him. Contrary to the critics, his every expression reveals his skill as an actor. While his motivations are confusing, they are his motives. He is an unbalanced war survivor who can't tolerate the cesspool the world has become. I mean, "What did I fight for?" His social skills are wasted. When he goes on the date, it's one of the most uncomfortable moments I've ever spent in a theater. The efforts to save a small part of his world is met with disdain and resistance. So he flips out and decides to clean it up himself. He is suspicious of politicians and authority figures. He becomes his own man and takes matters into his own hands. The key thing is that he is true to himself and even though he is a frightening figure, he gets his way. I guess most think he should have been killed. That's not a valid criticism. See this, but be prepared to keep changing positions in your seat.
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portrait of loneliness
Kirpianuscus27 January 2019
One of powerful, for its profound honesty, films. A man lost in its loneliness. Desiring love, without social abilities, example of schizoidy and full of noble intentions. Robert de Niro gives more than the role of his life but a precise, realistic portrait of a social victim. A great film.
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From zero to hero
Horst_In_Translation30 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Taxi Driver" is an American movie from 1976, so this one is already over 40 years old now and it runs for slightly under 2 hours. The director is Martin Scorsese and lead actor is Robert De Niro and if you take a look at how big these two have been for decades now, it is very telling that this film here is still a contender for career-best for both of them. De Niro also scored a lead actor Oscar nomination and the film managed to get in for Best Picture as well while eventually not winning any of its 4 nominations. The script writer was Paul Schrader here and this was his only Academy Award nomination, but he is still active today and perhaps was not too far away from his second with his recent work on Ethan Hawke's First Reformed. Anyway, back to this one here. It is the story of a man who cannot sleep at night and to do something useful for once, he decides to start working as a taxi driver, a profession in which he gets in contact with all kinds of absurd characters, most of them just as bizarre as himself. And at the same time, he is in a position when he is basically just their servant, barely interacting with them and most are glad it is this way like the rich guy with the Black prostitute in the backseat. Or the guy who pulls out Foster's character early on. Yep that is true Jodie Foster is in this film too. She already was a quite experienced actress back then despite her age of 14 or so and I quite like her. Still I must say the Oscar nomination was a bit much if we take a closer look at the performance. Compared to other all-time great young age (female) performances that managed such a nomination like Hailee Steinfeld for example, she was not too outstanding and I am somewhat glad she did not win. I think I even read she was considered a frontrunner, or at least second. We will never know. But she cannot complain anyway with how her career developed since then. 2 Oscar wins, a successful filmmaker as well. I like it. She is always pretty likable in my opinion and I am glad her career got a nice boost through that movie here.

But there is no denying De Niro is the film from beginning to end and he proves he is among the defining actors of his generation here without a doubt and that The Godfather was not just a one time thingey. Also the make-up crew helped him a lot. His visual appearance changes so much during this film it is pretty memorable the way how his face looks and of course I am also talking about his haircut towards the end that is kinda epic together with his entire appearance in these moments when everything escalates or is about to escalate. With that I am obviously referring to the scene when he is about to shoot the politician, but also when he saves the girl eventually. This is what I am referring to with the title of my review when he is about the become the next Lee Harvey Oswald, but instead turns into kind of a national hero. Travis Bickle sure is a really interesting character. People say he is fed up with the horrible state his city is in and the people that live there in terms of crime and sleaze and it sure is true and what he says to Palantine is not make-believe, but what also inspires him to commit this crime of politicide (is that a word? anyway, you know what I mean) is that he gets rejected by Shepherd's character and also the way how he does. He meant all well to her, but her reaction is really crass stating explicitly that he is low-class scum compared to her and the nice gesture of giving her the record is destroyed completely by the few words that she has it already and does not care one bit about having it twice then as long as she gets away from him as quickly as possible. And she does so in a taxi which is extra humiliation for him. Fate also gets in the way for once as on one occasion she is not there when he shows up at the campaign headquarter. On another, she is and after trying to talk to her reasonably unsuccessfully, we see his anger finally and also that he is a bit of a woman hater. Or maybe just a society hater as he finally sees her as part of the all-around evil as well, not just in the building, but in the rotten city. Of course, her white knight colleague stepping in is not really helping things either. I still must say I kinda wondered why he got this close to Palantine honestly, because he really does not seem like an alpha male, even if he is a decent organiser I suppose. The white knight I mean of course.

I got to watch this movie as part of a film series on the city of New York here in Berlin and while many movies felt they were really just included because they were set in New York and hardly offered anything about the city, this one here is different and there is major focus on the situation of the people there and also the cultural climate there, so good choice for sure. Except of course that this film is considered a classic by many. Take a look at the rating and number of votes and enough is said. This film moving closer and closer to its half-century anniversary is still easily filling theaters and there are so many references in pop culture about it still, that it is probably alway gonna be this way. I myself would not say it is too great or epic or underappreciated by awards bodies back then and there really wasn't a moment when I considered giving it more than 3 stars out of 5, but there also was not a moment on the other end of the scale when I thought it should get less and thus a negative recommendation. De Niro most of all, and secondly the script, really make it a worthwhile watch that feels considerably shorter than almost two hours.

There are also a handful of fun scenes, such as of course the (in)famous mirror scene (that I still don't consider as epic and defining), a pretty hilarious, but also dark scene filmed inside a car that shows us why his taxi driver job was also a bit extraordinary and this one was mostly memorable because the taxi guest sitting in the back who was filled with hate was played by Scorsese himself. Pretty funny and he is so unrecognizable with his looks when he was younger haha. I think many audience members did not recognize him despite him being still among the most defining and most famous filmmakers of our generation. All this black hair and beard haha. And of course the final 15-20 minutes are also incredibly unique with how things turn out eventually and probably helped giving the film the status it has today. Even the slightly forgettable return of Shepherd's character there works nicely, even if it's tough to remember anything really that happens after the shootings. Now no more spoilers I guess. All in all a good movie. Go watch it if you want and don't mind the violence. A must-see especially for everybody who loves De Niro like myself, even if I must say this is nowhere near his finest movies, maybe closer to his finest performances. Go for it, if you are old enough that is. They had to escort a young viewer out when the film began in my screening hehe.
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Bleak and Depressive
claudio_carvalho24 August 2015
The former marine Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) is insomniac and decides to work as taxi driver in the night shift. Travis is a lonely uneducated man that spends his leisure time watching porn films in the theaters. When Travis sees the gorgeous Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) working as a volunteer in the campaign for president of Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris), he has a crush on her. He invites Betsy to drink coffee with him and later he dates her. However he takes her to see a porn Swedish movie and she feels offended and leaves him. Travis unsuccessfully sends flowers for her but she rejects him. Travis meets the young prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster) that is trying to flee from her pimp Sport (Harvey Keitel) in his taxi but Sport takes her from the car. Travis also buys several weapons from a dealer and practices shooting. When he meets Iris again, he is resolute to help her. Will Travis succeed in his intent?

"Taxi Driver" is a bleak and depressive film directed by Martin Scorsese about lowlifes and losers in New York. The lead character is an unstable taxi driver poorly educated and capable to bring his date to watch porn film since he does not know any other genre. Robert DeNiro has magnificent performance and Jodie Foster is amazing in the role of a twelve year-old prostitute. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Taxi Driver"
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A wonderfully engaging and convincing slide into a modern madness from a director and actor showing some of their best form
bob the moo13 February 2006
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.
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"Here is a man who would not take it anymore".
classicsoncall16 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
In a calculated exercise, I watched "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver" back to back today. Two classics, and two films generally recognized by critics and fans to be among the best of all time. Personally, I think Bull was the better showcase for both De Niro and director Scorsese as the four years between films allowed both to improve on their respective crafts. In terms of favorites, that might be a moot point, as both are darkly disturbing and violent films, with main characters that aren't particularly honorable, much less likable.

Indeed, both characters, the fictional Travis Bickle and the real life Jake La Motta were haunted by personal demons that manifested as forms of mental illness. La Motta's brand of violence was legal inside the ring, what he carried into his personal life resulted in a lifetime of unintended consequences. The outcomes of fictional characters can be manipulated to suit the priority of the writer or director, so in the case of "Taxi Driver", the protagonist winds up as sort of a hero, at least to the parents of twelve year old hooker Iris. I'm not sure if the point of the film had anything to do with showing how one's life can turn on a second's notice or not. However when Bickle's assassination attempt on Palantine (Leonard Harris) was foiled, the succeeding events could have led to his own demise. Instead he's reborn, sort of. One could sequel the story after Betsy (Cybil Shepherd) gets a cab ride from Travis at the end of the picture, but it's probably better left to the viewer's imagination.

A tiny detail caught my eye in both pictures today which I'm sure I would never have considered had I seen them days or weeks apart. In the carnage of the shootout scene, when the cops make their presence in the doorway of the rented room, Bickle puts a bloody finger to his head simulating a gunshot, and two drops of blood drip from his finger. Scorsese used the same device again in "Raging Bull", when Jake La Motta is badly bloodied in his final fight against Sugar Ray Robinson. As the boxer sags against the ring ropes, the camera focuses on the top rope a few inches away from La Motta's outstretched arm. Two drops of blood fall from the rope to the canvas to further intensify La Motta's defeat. At the time, I couldn't say why I found that to be so fascinating, but now I do.
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Well-Made Film, Though Not Sure It Stands Time For Me
gavin694229 August 2009
A taxi driver (Robert DeNiro) grows sick of the filth he sees in society, or at least New York. Attracted to a political campaign volunteer (Cybil Shepherd), he tries to find some redeeming qualities in life... but his brief hope in politics is dashed and he realizes the only way to clean up New York is with his own hands.

I am unsure how I feel about "Taxi Driver". I liked it. Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro are a great team, and the gritty violence of this film really is portrayed in a way that captures the viewer in a death grip. Jodie Foster is amazing, especially considering her age, and the historical place this movie has (given the Reagan shooting and all) makes it timeless regardless of the film's merits.

But it has its flaws. The film quality is grainy (though, as i say, this adds to the gritty feeling). Harvey Keitel, despite being a great actor, is in the wrong role. And compared to some of Scorsese's other work, this doesn't come across to me as some of his better material. His more recent contributions -- "The Departed" and "Gangs of New York", for example -- are vastly superior in pretty much every way. While "Taxi Driver" is not a bad film, it is easily overshadowed by the other Scorsese offerings.

If you haven't seen it, I would recommend you do. If for no other reason than giving Scorsese a fair chance, this is worth checking out. The man has been sidelined for too long and someday critics and other people will look back and see his body of work as powerful and influential art.
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You talking' to him?
lee_eisenberg15 November 2005
Released the year after the Vietnam War ended, "Taxi Driver" takes a look at the war's effects on people. Vietnam vet Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) takes a job as a taxi driver, meeting various kinds of people. But as time passes, he begins to lose his mind, and it may lead to irreversible results.

"Taxi Driver" is as chilling as it is magnificent. It's the sort of thing that only Martin Scorsese could do, especially casting Robert DeNiro. While there certainly are some violent scenes, it's pretty tame compared to the stuff that you see in movies nowadays. Still, you should be prepared for some of the scenes. But don't let that give you the wrong impression of the movie. Everyone (along with DeNiro, the movie also stars Jodie Foster, Cybill Shephard, Harvey Keitel, and Albert Brooks) does a great job. This movie is perfect in every way.
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Taxi Driver
jboothmillard12 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It has been described as one of his greatest films, and I could agree that this about BAFTA nominated director Martin Scorsese. Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a mentally unstable Vietnam veteran who has taken a job in New York city as taxi driver because he suffers insomnia. He grows increasingly disgusted by the lowlifes, scum and "trash" in the city at night, and this obviously doesn't help his attempt to get somewhere with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), who represents the vote for Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris), he even takes her to a porn movie on the first date! He fails also to help 12-year-old prostitute Iris (twice BAFTA winning newcomer Jodie Foster) to desert her pimp 'Sport' Matthew (Harvey Keitel). Driven to insanity of powerlessness he buys four handguns and is intent on assassinating the Senator. Donning a Mohawk hairdo he is ready, but when he can't get close enough, he is gunned down in the end after killing Matthew, oh, he didn't die, and he returned to being a taxi driver. Also starring Peter Boyle as Wizard and Albert Brooks as Tom. I think the main reason to see this film (and the most memorable and notable scene) is for the great improvised line when De Niro is talking to himself in the mirror, number 10 on 100 Years, 100 Quotes, "You talking' to me?". It was nominated the Oscars for Best Music for Bernard Herrmann and Best Picture, it won the BAFTA for the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music, and it was nominated the BAFTAs for Best Film and Best Film Editing, and it was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. Harvey Keitel was number 53, Jodie Foster number 23, Robert De Niro number 2 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, De Niro was also number 50 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, and he was number 5 (along with Al Pacino) on The World's Greatest Actor, Travis Bickle was number 30 on 100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains, the film was number 22 on 100 Years, 100 Thrills, it was number 47 on 100 Years, 100 Movies, and it was number 22 on The 100 Greatest Films. Outstanding!
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An Unforgettable Movie and Lead Character
ccthemovieman-13 April 2006
"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.
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Urban Anomi.
rmax30482329 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A truly disturbing movie. Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro), great name, falls into a mood of brooding, amorphous rage and is frustrated in his attempts to murder a politician. So he wipes out a couple of low-life pimps instead.

The story tracks him through his descent into insanity. Interesting folks are encountered along the way but have less impact than rubber bumpers have on a pinball. Cybill Shepherd and Peter Boyle, for instance. Boyle is one of a handful of taxi drivers, like DeNiro, who gather at a certain café to shoot the breeze on breaks. He's particularly funny in his working-class disinclination to think things through. "Them queers" have to get married and divorced in California, he says wonderingly. I saw this in the Castro Theater in San Francisco and the audience erupted in laughter. When DeNiro asks for advice and gets nonsense in response, Boyle asks, "What do you want, Bertrand Russell?"

The film is unusual for Martin Scorsese. His most successful work has been with solidary groups, like small time hoods and the Mafia, in which there is an agreed-upon set of rules, and everyone knows everyone else. This one digs into urban anomie. "Anomi" is a concept developed by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim and it means, essentially, "without rules." It's the kind of thing you experience when you drive into a vast strip mall parking lot and all the yellow lines guiding traffic have been erased. What do I do NOW, Ma?

Scorsese is examining a social world that, as an Italian Catholic, he really has had little contact with. The film was written by Paul Schrader who, as an ex-Calvinist, is a little more familiar with this sort of ontological anxiety. It crops up in the production design. When DeNiro makes his unfulfilling meeting with Jody Foster, the twelve-year-old whore, it collapses in misunderstanding but in the background there are a multitude of Catholic candles. The climactic scene has a voice reading a letter to DeNiro from Foster's square Midwestern parents, congratulating him for an act that was ancillary to his own agenda, which was evidently to bring the world down around his ears.

A film of the 1970s, it resonates less with audiences today. The racial troubles that were so headline-grabbing at the time show up less often in the news today. Not that the problem of race is solved, but the categorical thinking that divided us into two warring tribes has less relevance. The resentment simmers but has been cut off at the ankles, partly by our recent election of an African-American to the highest office in the nation. At the same time we have to admit that, as a nation, we are pustular with hatred for each other and for other countries that may not behave the way we want them to. Our leading presidential candidate has made it clear that he will go to war with Iran if Iran doesn't give up its nuclear ambitions. These attitudes come from the same place as Travis Bickle's.

Most powerful shot in the movie: the camera slowly moves in on a bubbling glass of Alka Seltzer on the table in front of Robert DeNiro. All that fizzing is but one step removed from the explosion that is to follow.
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A classic that is still fresh after over forty years
Tweekums18 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This 1976 classic follows Travis Bickle; an insomniac who spends his nights driving a New York taxi. Unlike other drivers he will drive anybody to any part of the city; this leads to him seeing the very worst of the city and he starts to think that something must be done about it. Initially it looks as if that might be joining the campaign for presidential candidate Senator Palantine… although he is clearly more interesting in campaigner Betsy. He goes out with her a couple of times but can't see why she won't see him again after he takes her to see a pornographic film! After purchasing a small arsenal he sets about rescuing twelve year old Iris from a life of prostitution; something that leads to a bloody shootout.

This film certainly won't be for everybody; it isn't easy to like our troubled protagonist and he is rarely off screen. Many other characters are even worse; director Martin Scorsese is clearly showing New York as a moral cesspit. Robert De Nero is on top form as Bickle; one of cinema's iconic characters. He makes us believe in Bickle as a real person rather than a caricature. He is brilliantly supported by Jodie Foster as Iris; it is hard to believe that a thirteen year old could give such an impressive performance. This does inevitably leads to some uncomfortable scenes as she offers herself to Bickle. Other notable performances come from Harvey Keitel, who plays Iris's sleazy pimp, and Cybil Shepherd, who plays Betsy. For the most part there isn't much violence; this makes the finale, which is very bloody, all the more shocking. Overall I'd definitely say that this deserves to be considered a classic and would say it is a must see for adult movie fans; just be prepared for some disturbing moments.
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A crazed Robert DeNiro undergoes a criminal rampage when his dreams fail
ma-cortes10 July 2009
This too much black movie concerns on a psychotic taxi driver named Travis (Robert DeNiro) who returns from Vietnam and suffers insomnia . He feels revulsion at the underworld full of delinquents , pimps (Harvey Keitel) , prostitutes (Jodie Foster) and general corruption in the N.Y.C streets and eventually drives him to murder . Then , outcast Travis turning into exterminator angel during the nighttime of downtown N.Y. Meanwhile , he becomes infatuated with a political campaigner (Cybill Sheperd).

Awesome film with tremendous images , colorful scenarios and extraordinary performances . Atmospheric cinematography by Michael Chapman , a prestigious cameraman and occasionally director . Bernard Herrmann's impressive musical score , this is his last film . Excellent screenplay by Paul Schrader , containing some immortal phrases , it was written during his splendor time in the 70s . These mid-1970s scripts are full of venom , such as Paul proved in ¨Yakuza¨, ¨Rolling thunder¨and of course ¨Taxi driver¨. Here pursued the issue of urban menace such as in ¨Hardcore¨ in which a Calvinist attempts to retrieve his daughter from the inferno of featuring in gutter-level hardcore movies , similarly Travis Bricke with the 12-year-old prostitute excellently performed by Jodie Foster . Magnificent Robert DeNiro portraying perfectly the dark vision of alienation and subsequent urban catharsis whose environment to drive him berserk . De Niro worked fifteen hour days for a month driving cabs as preparation for this role , he also studied mental illness . De Niro is the Scorsese's fetish actor. Scorse-De Niro thundered on several movies as ¨New York, New York¨ , ¨Raging bull¨ , ¨King of comedy¨ , ¨Goodfellas¨ , ¨Cape fear¨ , ¨Casino¨ , among them . This splendid movie won several prizes in British Academy , Cannes 76 and L.A. Film Critics . Rating : Better than average , well worth watching.
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A classy character study of a disturbed individual—but what is the point?
BA_Harrison5 April 2015
Insomniac Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job driving a New York taxi cab, becomes obsessed with beautiful political campaigner Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), who gives him the cold shoulder after he tries to take her to a skin flick on a date. Bickle then becomes obsessed with underage hooker Iris (Jodie Foster), buys lots of guns, and goes trigger happy on her pimp (Harvey Keitel).

As a fan of gritty 70s movie-making, I find it hard to believe that, until now, I hadn't seen Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver; I think perhaps the problem was that, having heard so many good things about the film, I didn't want to risk disappointment. Unfortunately, that's precisely what I felt when I finally got around to watching the film.

It's not that it's a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination—on the contrary, it's a skilfully assembled character study of a self-destructive loose cannon that boasts excellent cinematography, great music, and superb performances—BUT in the end it just didn't grab me as much as I would have liked. The story progresses very slowly, which in itself isn't a massive issue for me, but the payoff simply isn't as satisfying as I felt it needed to be given all that has gone before.

After all of his stalking, inane rambling and meticulous planning, Travis Bickle's rampage is over in a flash, after which he is proclaimed a hero and freed to roam the streets once more (unless you prescribe to the theory that everything after the shootout is in Bickle's mind as he slowly bleeds to death). Perhaps Scorsese's point was to show us just how easy it is for a dangerous loony like Bickle to be overlooked by society until its too late—but it sure felt like a letdown to me.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for Keitel's hair.
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We never learn much about Travis Bickle, yet the talent involved makes him a compelling figure
moonspinner5527 March 2002
"Taxi Driver" begins so ominously (with blinking neon lights and rising street heat which seem like symbolisms for Hell itself) that people watching it for the first time automatically prepare themselves for a Masterpiece. Martin Scorsese's film is indeed quite good, but it's also flawed, murky and confusing, talky in the wrong places, and features such an over-hyped performance by young Jodie Foster as a pre-teen prostitute that I imagine most viewers will be let down by what amounts to an extremely minor role. Robert De Niro's work is the centerpiece of the picture, playing haunted New York City cabbie Travis Bickle, a man so consumed by the evil on the streets that he eventually stoops to its level. Bickle is a human time bomb; he's ready to explode, and it wouldn't matter where he was or what he was doing. The movie doesn't make any apologies for Bickle, but I didn't buy some of the reasons for his actions (it's briefly alluded to that Travis wants to "save" Foster from her sordid existence, but one gets the feeling he just wants to shoot at somebody...anybody). I've seen better movies about people-as-targets, the City As Hell and urban alienation, but I think the reason why so many people remember "Taxi Driver" and keep returning to it is Scorsese's style. The filmmaker has an unflinching, fearless ability to take on the most neurotic of outcasts while wedging his camera into the most provocative or squalid of surroundings. His picture moves at a staccato rhythm--and it has too much chatter--yet the seamy, sticky ambiance is so tangible you can practically feel it on your fingertips. Cybill Shepherd does excellent work as a beautiful woman stumping for a senator's presidential bid who comes into contact with Bickle; Harvey Keitel is oddly-placed but compelling as a smug, self-assured pimp; and Oscar-nominated Foster, while just a bit self-conscious, does well with a sketchy role. De Niro, who was also nominated for an Oscar, is so adept at these kind of misfit characterizations that we're ready to fill in the blanks left behind by screenwriter Paul Schrader. We don't really learn much about Travis Bickle--deliberately, one assumes--yet De Niro and Scorsese draw us into his dark world. It's a fascinating portrait. *** from ****
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Dark look at 1970s New York City.
TxMike12 September 2020
I was able to watch this on BluRay from my public library. Being one of the more famous movies, there isn't much to say regarding "review" comments. The disc has a number of extras, some over an hour long, so any big fan of this movie should view the BluRay version, it will entertain you for a long time.

Famously Robert De Niro played the off-kilter cab driver, Travis Bickle. As an example of his inability to understand 'norms' on his first date with an attractive campaign worker he took her to a theater showing porn movies. To him that was just normal. She walked out and he followed her.

Jodie Foster famously plays a street prostitute, she says she is 12 1/2 years old. In fact during filming in 1975 Foster had not yet turned 13.

This is a well-made movie for the times, mostly with very dark themes.
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A Disturbing and Powerful Masterpiece
Quinoa198413 February 2000
Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver is a riveting, disturbing and powerful masterpiece of a film that gives new meaning to the word "snapped". The scenes, quotes and characters are legendary and so is this film giving breakthrough performances to Albert Brooks, Jodie Foster, and of course, Robert De Niro.

De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a disturbed taxi driver who drives his taxi all around new York City going crazier every day. He also meets Iris (AKA Easy) played by Foster who is also disturbed, but in a not as good way. And what the story leads up to is one of the most memorable pieces of cinema ever. The film is great, the score by Bernard Hermann (his last) is excellent, and the feeling, and atmosphere is perfect. So, "are you talking to me"?
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YOU talking to me? You talking to ME?
michaelRokeefe29 November 2003
Director Martin Scorsese uses harsh reality and memorable characters to perfection. Robert de Niro plays a slightly deranged Viet Nam vet that drives a NYC cab at night. His insomnia appears relentless and he spends a lot of his time in porno theaters. This lonesome loser does have a heart buried beneath that rough and hardened exterior. Driving his taxi allows him to see through his eyes the underbelly of the city and confirms his contempt for the "scum" all around him. So memorable is his working up to date the beautiful Cybil Shepard only to p*ss her off by taking her to a porno flick. Then trying to "rescue" a 12-year old runaway turned prostitute(Jodie Foster)and dealing with her sleazy pimp(Harvey Keitel). A stomach-churning bloodbath seems to be an unconditional cleansing of a very personal hell. Also in the cast are:Leonard Harris, Albert Brooks and Peter Boyle. This great movie is just a building block towards Scorsese's genius.
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Truly A Must-See Classic
sunwarrior1325 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, and Cybill Shepherd. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

In Martin Scorsese's classic 1970s drama, insomniac ex-Marine Travis Bickle works the nightshift, driving his cab throughout decaying mid- '70s New York City, wishing for a "real rain" to wash the "scum" off the neon-lit streets. Chronically alone, Travis cannot connect with anyone, not even with such other cabbies as blowhard Wizard. He becomes infatuated with vapid blonde presidential campaign worker Betsy, who agrees to a date and then spurns Travis when he cluelessly takes her to a porno movie. After an encounter with a malevolent fare (played by Scorsese), the increasingly paranoid Travis begins to condition (and arm) himself for his imagined destiny, a mission that mutates from assassinating Betsy's candidate, Charles Palatine, to violently "saving" teen hooker Iris from her pimp, Sport. Travis' bloodbath turns him into a media hero; but has it truly calmed his mind? Written by Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver is an homage to and reworking of cinematic influences, a study of individual psychosis, and an acute diagnosis of the latently violent, media-fixated Vietnam era.

Scorsese and Schrader structure Travis' mission to save Iris as a film noir version of John Ford's late Western The Searchers (1956), aligning Travis with a mythology of American heroism while exposing that myth's obsessively violent underpinnings. Yet Travis' military record and assassination attempt, as well as Palatine's political platitudes, also ground Taxi Driver in its historical moment of American in the 1970s. Employing such techniques as Godardian jump cuts and ellipses, expressive camera moves and angles, and garish colors, all punctuated by Bernard Herrmann's eerie final score (finished the day he died), Scorsese presents a Manhattan skewed through Travis' point-of-view, where De Niro's now-famous "You talking' to me" improv becomes one more sign of Travis' madness. Shot during a New York summer heat wave and garbage strike, Taxi Driver got into trouble with the MPAA for its violence. Scorsese desaturated the color in the final shoot-out and got an R, and Taxi Driver surprised its unenthusiastic studio by becoming a box-office hit.

Released in the Bicentennial year, after Vietnam, Watergate, and attention-getting attempts on President Ford's life, Taxi Driver's intense portrait of a man and a society unhinged spoke resonantly to the mid-'70s audience -- too resonantly in the case of attempted Reagan assassin and Foster fan John W. Hinckley. Taxi Driver went on to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but it lost the Best Picture Oscar to the more comforting Rocky. Anchored by De Niro's disturbing embodiment of "God's lonely man," Taxi Driver remains a striking milestone of both Scorsese's career and 1970s Hollywood.

In summary,Taxi Driver must-see film for movie lovers, this Martin Scorsese masterpiece is as hard-hitting as it is compelling, with Robert De Niro at his best.
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Existentialist's Top Ten
dougdoepke12 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I doubt the 2-hours is a favorite of NYC's chamber of commerce. The grime and sin fairly drip off the screen-- location filming on the streets being a big, big plus. Poor cabbie Bickle, he's trapped in his own isolation and can't decide whether to break out or celebrate. He'd like to connect with high class Betsy, but he's too self enclosed to realize his porn movies are an insult to her. Then too, he'd like to affirm conventional values by rescuing little Iris from life on the street. But she's too much in love with her pimp, a part of the city filth which he takes care of with an angry gun. Hailed now by the cops and public as a hero, he nevertheless falls back into isolation as passengers come and go from his private cab. Still, he's done his bit to clean up the city. Now he can drive at ease within his self-enclosure. Perhaps the moral is we're each condemned to live inside our own cab. Or is his problem more simply an instance of urban neglect.

Heckuva job by Scorsese and Co. that holds fast audience interest even minus a storyline. Instead, it's an account of one man's struggle inside an alienating environment, and actor DeNiro triumphs in a darn difficult role. In fact, he's in about every scene, so there's plenty of chances to fail.

No need to go on; 1000+ reviews says it all. Nonetheless, I nominate the movie for existentialism's hall of movie fame. Plus next time I take a cab, I'll darn sure be nice to the driver.
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