Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver (1976)

1976 R 113 Minutes

Crime | Drama

Robert De Niro stars as Travis Bickle in this oppressive psychodrama about a Vietnam veteran who rebels against the decadence and immorality of big city life in New York while working the nightshif...

Overall Rating

9 / 10
Verdict: Great

User Review

  • WHAT I LIKED: 'Taxi Driver' is one of the most intricate character studies of loneliness, self-radicalisation and perception ever put to the big screen, and as a result it's undoubtedly one of the greatest films of its era and one of Martin Scorsese's most impressive and interesting pieces of work to this day.

    It really does almost entirely devote itself to painting its fascinating central character arc, and that's hugely successful because whilst its central chap - a lonely and confused man with some unusual ideas about his surrounding society - descends into some pretty radical behaviour, he does so within a script that builds an understanding of how easy it is for those who feel isolated from society to lose their way, and how the way we perceive these people can be affected so easily.

    This wouldn't be possible however if De Niro didn't deliver such an incredible performance, and if Scorsese hadn't done such a perfect job of building the surrounding society in his authentic and suffocating way, as not only does the political backdrop here add to the overall sense of Travis' detachment, but Scorsese's portrayal of New York is executed in an amazingly tangible way where the nature of the city can be seen and the overall atmosphere is all-consuming.

    This is helped by a truly perfect score from Bernard Herrmann and truly hypnotic cinematography from Michael Chapman, and in the end it all makes for an intricately crafted, thematic and personal journey that's understandable, all-consuming and always thoroughly engaging.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: De Niro's character is a hard one to connect with on an emotional level even if we understand him as he's such a distant individual. That's not necessarily a criticism, it just makes for a film which isn't always highly gripping.

    VERDICT: A fascinating study of loneliness, self-radicalisation and perception, Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver' is a thematic and atmospheric masterpiece that's up there with the best of its era - and of his long-running career.