Movie Review: Taxi Driver (1976)

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Martin Scorsese is known these days as one of the greatest directors of all time, and for good reason. He has made some truly great movies such as “The Departed” and “Shutter Island”. But now it is time to take a look at one of his oldest movies which a lot of people call one of his best IF not his best.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Taxi Driver”.

In this movie we follow mentally unstable Vietnam war Veteran Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). Since he has trouble sleeping at night he takes a job as a nighttime taxi driver (roll credits). When driving around like this he sees every type of person New York has to offer… and that is not really a god thing. All the scum and assholes make him want to take action against it all to both try to stop it and also to save the life of the really young prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster). And with that said we have a psychological and powerful tale from the point of a mentally unstable man. Seeing the plot unfold was really interesting. The further Travis went down the rabbit hole, the more interesting everything got. And seeing as the plot never once got boring, that is awesome!

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first… Robert De Niro was FUCKING AWESOME in this movie! I have always liked the guy, he is a really good actor, but here he gives one of the greatest performances I have seen from anyone ever. De Niro was perfect at portraying the psychological decline of Travis. And Jodie Foster in the movie was also really good. When this movie came out in ’76 she was really young, yet her performance was still really good. And every other were also great in the movie. This movie was like “Weak performance? What the hell is that?”.

The score by Bernard Hermann was a mix of soft jazz and darkly haunting tracks. Seriously, the soundtrack will haunt my dreams after this… which technically isn’t a bad thing. And with that said, the soundtrack was great. It all fit so well into every little part that each track was used in.

When “Taxi Driver” first came out in 1976 it cause a fair amount of controversy and there were two main reasons for that. The first of them was the pretty graphic violence which I can kind of understand. But at the same time, comparing it to “Clockwork Orange” might be a bit of a stretch. Sure the violence here was graphic, but it wasn’t as disturbing as “Clockwork Orange”. The second of the reasons this was controversial is a reason I really do get. *Ahem* They cast a 13-year old girl as a prostitute! And while she is never shown naked and/or having sex in the movie, I can still kind of get behind the argument why that would stir up some controversy. Now with that informative stuff out of the way, this is a great looking movie! Scorsese is a master director who knows how to make a scene look fantastic! And he showed it fairly early in his career with this movie.

“Taxi Driver” has been VERY well-received over the years, being called “One of the greatest movies ever”. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating wit ha “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 93/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and later added it to his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #79 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 4 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Foster) and Best Original Score. 

People, “Taxi Driver” is a great movie with a terrific plot, fantastic performances, a great score and some great direction/camera work. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “Taxi Driver” is a 9,89/10. This is a fantastic movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Taxi Driver” is completed.

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