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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 10.45%
Average: 3.18%
Pretty Bad: 1.82%
Total Crap: 2.73%

8 reviews, 172 user ratings

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Taxi Driver
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"'I believe that one should become a person like other people'"
5 stars

"I'm God's lonely man," he says, and from the way he's always glancing away from people, or staring at them just a little too hard, you know he really believes it. He works twelve-hour days, sometimes longer, as a New York taxi driver, trying to take his mind off a secret pain that we, the audience, never quite glimpse. You never learn what's bugging this man, though you get suggestions here and there. Perhaps his troubles started during his stint in Vietnam--a backstory hinted at but never made explicit in the film--but then why does he say he's been lonely his whole life?

It is in part this ambiguity that makes Travis Bickle such a vivid character: Taxi Driver does not wallow in pop psychology, will not settle for cheap explanations. Bickle eludes understanding, but all the same he seems frighteningly real. And, in fact, he is: Very few films so disorientingly obscure the line between reality and fiction. Travis Bickles appear regularly on the evening news: men like Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber, both of whom went around the bend after they, like Bickle, were rejected by women they admired; or those all-too-common crazed gunmen, who like Bickle ("I work for the government," he likes to say) tend to be fascinated by authority figures.

It's a tribute to Robert De Niro's skill as an actor that you don't really seem him up on the screen; he disappears into his role, an achievement far less common than you might think. For the most part, actors depend on their carefully tended image for their on-screen presence. Tom Cruise is invariably Tom Cruise, and for better or worse, all those tabloid rumors about his sexual preference really do affect your perceptions of him in whatever role he plays. You probably don't remember the name of the character he played in, say, A Few Good Men, but who has ever forgotten the unmistakably abrasive name Travis Bickle?

The plot is Crime and Punishment by way of Bresson's Pickpocket: a troubled, anti-social man seeking redemption becomes fascinated by a "fallen" woman. But screenwriter Paul Schrader, daringly, reversed the plot: where the other two works end in peace and reconciliation, Taxi Driver climaxes in terrible bloodshed, its protagonist misguidedly attempting to shoot his way to Paradise. It's what the historian Richard Slotkin called regeneration through violence, an unhappily durable trend in the American psyche.

Taxi Driver rests on the enigma of Travis Bickle--who, exactly, is this man? He rails against the sleazy milieu he lives in, but he's fascinated by cheap porn movies. When he insists on taking Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) to one, he wrecks their relationship, and thus begins the downward spiral. A foolish act--but Schrader has suggested, tantilizingly, that Bickle wants to alienate Betsy: he needs a reason to go off on his mad rampage, the germ of which has existed in his mind since the beginning of the movie. "Someday a real rain will come and wipe this scum off the streets"--it's a self-fulfulling prophecy, but realizing that makes Bickle hardly less mysterious.

It's a film with no real answers, which ends on an uneasily ambiguous note. Perhaps no one involved with it was ever better than they were here--not Scorsese, not Schrader, not De Niro. And it may be the film for which they will all be remembered.

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originally posted: 06/09/02 16:42:34
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User Comments

11/27/17 Anne 1/2 hour viewed the 1st time gave it score 1. 2nd viewing, was more patient. Good film. 4 stars
9/09/17 morris campbell not bad but who cares its awful corny 2 stars
4/24/16 Ken Whoever thinks this movie is bad, has no good taste in movies. 5 stars
3/02/16 Corbin Boyle Gotta love the mohawk 4 stars
4/25/15 stanley welles a brilliant and compelling study of alienation, obsession and paranoia 5 stars
7/03/14 I am You 2 stars
3/24/14 Justin R. Exquisite. Go see it! 5 stars
2/27/13 David Hollingsworth Urban masterpiece of social malaise that is one of the greatest. 5 stars
8/21/12 edutra so overrated, so boring, and nothing takes place 1 stars
5/24/11 action movie fan thouroughly engrossing with realistic characthers and diolough very memorable 5 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King This film deserves its impressive reputation. 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsecce in a tour-de-force look at the grittier side of NY. 5 stars
10/25/09 Omar De Niro's best performance, along with "Raging Bull". 5 stars
9/29/09 harry lime this guy is crazier that ethan edwards 5 stars
6/01/09 Jeff Wilder One of Scorsese's numerous masterpieces. 5 stars
3/28/08 Renzo Classic 5 stars
8/12/07 Quigley Exceeded my expectations. Scorsese and De Niro are superb. An excellent film on every level 5 stars
4/11/07 josh Fantastic movie, i feel that travis died at the end, who else feels this? 5 stars
4/08/07 Chris Redmond Phenomenal. I feel sorry for the contemporary film-goer who needs instant, cheap thrills. 5 stars
4/04/07 David Pollastrini deNiro is very creepy in this 3 stars
12/22/06 Eric Phelps "You talkin' to me?" A kick ass movie. 5 stars
11/20/06 R.W.Welch Among the best directed movies. Oozes atmosphere. 5 stars
9/29/06 Josh Racine One of my top 5 of all-time. 5 stars
7/31/06 Lawry.Sabadi Lawry Kix Ass 1 stars
7/26/06 Sepi53 Great acting by Mr. De Niro 5 stars
4/30/06 Joshua Whoever hates this is a faggot. This movie kicks ass. 5 stars
4/11/06 Bean Maybe groundbreaking back when. Boring today. 1 stars
3/31/06 kerry Another highly overrated film.Pretentious and self-indulgent.Taxi Driver sucks 1 stars
12/20/05 Jeff Anderson Cold & bleak. See Francis Von Zerneck's chilling & brilliant GOD'S LONELY MAN instead!!!!! 2 stars
12/03/05 Gene Carmean One of the best 5 stars
11/18/05 John Dog "Are you talkin' to me?" 5 stars
11/05/05 Tim I honestly thought this was one of the worst films i've even seen. Nothing happens! 1 stars
10/16/05 Moctezuma This features DeNiro's greatest performance 5 stars
10/07/05 Johnny Powerfully intense. 5 stars
9/29/05 Michael Blower This film got me into movies 10/10 5 stars
9/22/05 Fritz Scorsese's best film. Dark, brooding, powerful, and brilliant. 5 stars
6/13/05 Agent Sands Brilliantly dissects with empathy, and gets the audience to side with, a psychotic killer. 5 stars
5/29/05 Jake A dark and powerful film 5 stars
5/08/05 susan varney intense drama loved de niro 5 stars
5/06/05 Regis A must-see. 5 stars
4/21/05 brody snozzer 1 stars
4/11/05 Ann Lemire A classic 4 stars
3/24/05 matjaž Scorsese stands for provocative only in 3 films -Taxi is one of them. 5 stars
3/14/05 Russ Gladchenko My favorite movie! 5 stars
3/12/05 craig varney riveting de niro 5 stars
3/05/05 kimerie jones I really enjoyed this movie it was funny and different 5 stars
2/26/05 Stephanie classic! must see it 4 stars
2/10/05 Colleen Goldrick The Best!! 5 stars
2/09/05 Kelly Greenwood DeNiro shines in this movie, loved it! 5 stars
2/09/05 Al Guy Damn! Still gripping, even in the 21st Century. 5 stars
2/05/05 bongeezer Back when Love stories had real heart...Sniff,Sniff 4 stars
1/28/05 Monday Morning The feelgood movie of the '70s. The best! 5 stars
12/19/04 Placekicker damn fine creepiness, de niro is never better 5 stars
12/18/04 chris. something missing...can't put my finger on it. but otherwise excellent 4 stars
12/09/04 juupx Greatt 5 stars
11/01/04 Willz Damn it's great! 5 stars
10/29/04 dave are you talking to me, are you talking to me 5 stars
10/23/04 UMER definitely the BEST EVER anti-hero movie 5 stars
10/03/04 Naka A tad bit overrated, but still highly engrossing. 4 stars
9/01/04 A upton Sweet 5 stars
8/31/04 Abbath Very good movie, but I can't help but feel as if it's somewhat incomplete. 4 stars
8/25/04 Sean Scanlan Wonderful line 5 stars
8/03/04 Evan Are you realy talking to me ? 5 stars
6/25/04 Karen Stockdale Looks dated now, but the acting, especially de Niro's, is perfection 5 stars
6/14/04 dfc A Scorsese masterpiece. NYC was really like that in the 1970s. 5 stars
5/26/04 Sergeant Hartman great acting, somewhat boring. 4 stars
4/26/04 The man with the plan The greatest film on earth 5 stars
4/24/04 The Last Temptation Of Travis Bickle Paradoxical final scene will leave you mistified and disturbed, if you notice it! 5 stars
4/18/04 Father Merrin Wow! Blew me away! Superb film. 1 of the best ever! De Niro is mesmerising! 5 stars
4/17/04 Morally Sound Changed the face of cinema forever! 5 stars
4/03/04 gray powerfull 5 stars
4/02/04 Jack Sommersby The screenplay lacks ratiocination, but it's effectively pungent and wonderfully acted. 4 stars
4/01/04 y2mckay De Niro and Scorcese at their most intense. This movie owns. Cybill looks good, too. 5 stars
4/01/04 sansho No denying its cinematic flair and influence, but i dislike the "cathartic" violent ending 3 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. Now this should be remade into a BETTER FILM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/16/04 killak shows the good that can come from evil 5 stars
2/20/04 AJ The film that made a difference... 5 stars
1/31/04 Jay best of the best. Marty! 5 stars
1/23/04 Betty White Violent, but well-acted drama; solid Scorsese piece. 4 stars
1/20/04 Film Critic amazing 5 stars
12/07/03 john a bravoura performance - a disturbing yet brutally honest film - a masterpiece! 5 stars
10/20/03 Samuel Justus A great Film! my favorite DeNiro film..ever! 5 stars
8/31/03 DHite I thought the end was pretty unbelievable, but overall pretty good 4 stars
7/21/03 AD suck on this 5 stars
5/22/03 janjic sinisa great movie 5 stars
5/15/03 joshx42 Another Scorsese classic. 5 stars
2/26/03 GMan Coooooool (derek sucks ass) talkin' to me? 5 stars
2/12/03 Kyle This is not a classic... 4 stars
2/12/03 Aussie Film Maker Brutal and at times trippy. But intresting to the end. 5 stars
2/01/03 croweater This movie gets you in from word go.. Excellent. 5 stars
1/28/03 The Aussie Film Reviewer Brutal stuff, perfectly realized on film. 5 stars
1/24/03 Jeremy It's worth a look, but not 4 out of 5 stars for me. Decent movie. 3 stars
1/06/03 WestcoastPunk DeNiros greatest movie 5 stars
11/25/02 Margaret If you understand the subtext then the film will make more sense and come off as well done. 4 stars
11/22/02 Drop Great message about Vietnam 5 stars
11/21/02 Mason Scorcese=genius 5 stars
11/15/02 COCK one of de niro's best flims 5 stars
10/19/02 cara salmeri the one instance in a movie where society viewed the two wrongs to make a right. 4 stars
10/10/02 LIAM JACKSON Violent. Disturbing.Thought-Provoking.This movie is fucking brilliant.De Niro Rules!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/16/02 The Conscience Objector A Great Classic American Film, That Will Never Be Forgotten 5 stars
5/25/02 Charles Tatum Too trite, until finale 3 stars
5/19/02 Edwin Menguin Cum on the backseat, only in America! 5 stars
5/15/02 Danielle Ophelia Deeply textured...dark, yet luminous. 5 stars
4/19/02 Mr. T Classic, Full of Richness and Warmth 5 stars
2/22/02 Sarah Perbes I luf lesbo films, it makes me so very horny 5 stars
2/07/02 christine conzo the best movie of the 70's 5 stars
2/01/02 Alex Moir Hey Erik, maybe we should hook up sometime! You can do me like your dog anytime! 5 stars
2/01/02 Erik Martinez Deniro is 1 fine piece of ass here, I wana bend him over and do him like i do my dog 5 stars
1/23/02 Justin C Favorite movie of all time, got me into 70's cinema, bobby deniro, an other chain reactions 5 stars
12/03/01 Portrayal of NY / city life & mentality such an environment can produce brilliantly. 5 stars
12/02/01 travis r. sorensen the best film of the 70's and no i'm not forgetting the godfather 5 stars
11/24/01 Andrew Carden Wondefully Done, Great Plot, and Excellent Performances. 5 stars
11/14/01 Zizzerzazzerzuzz This movie will mess with your mind, assuming you have one. 5 stars
10/21/01 Jodie is one hot lesbo! Did Jodie Foster crave pussy when she made this? Or did this pre-date that? 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith "You talking to me? You talking to me?" 5 stars
7/03/01 King of Bros It's alright, but not worth the kleenex that film students use. 3 stars
7/03/01 Boomshanka to the guy below this, you were watching a 70's indie flick, you tool. 5 stars
7/03/01 Obi Wan Huh??? I felt like I was watching a indie 70s flick. Sorry but not my cup-a-tea. 3 stars
6/23/01 erik the movieman A great movie - but not my favorite Scorsese 4 stars
6/15/01 zombie awesome! i hate the score though 5 stars
6/10/01 Rick One of the best movies ever 5 stars
5/28/01 Edward Shandis Broke ground, but it's not a masterpiece 4 stars
5/21/01 Monster W. Kung Scorsese's best, it's a disturbing masterpiece about society, loneliness, and alienation. 5 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L Overrated ... not exactly a classic... broke some ground though 4 stars
3/21/01 bterry Bizarre, but good. 4 stars
3/02/01 Klute Masterpiece. All sorts of excellent. 5 stars
2/18/01 Jake Way overrated just like Scorcese. Watchable but not great. 3 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog A True American Masterpiece!!! Scorsese is god. 5 stars
2/01/01 jordan genius 5 stars
1/12/01 Skip Scorsese, De Niro, Schrader, Keitel, & Foster all deserved Oscars for this one. Masterpiece 5 stars
12/17/00 Doug Dogg Scorsese is a fuckin' genius, he pulls of some sickeningly wicked shots off, hooray! 5 stars
12/03/00 vitamin_D visual jazz - the score and rhythms of dialogue are enough to make me swoon 5 stars
11/10/00 bruno deniro is great (you looking at me) 5 stars
11/03/00 Cristopher Revilla shocking ending, masterful!!!! 5 stars
9/20/00 Jeff Scorsese's best film, De Niro's best performance. 5 stars
7/31/00 bob knob slob some fuckin good shit 5 stars
7/20/00 Joel Craig Never before has a movie been so edgy and disturbing. 5 stars
5/30/00 Zatoichi Jones Scorcese is a god. DeNiro is a god. This is filmmaking at it's best. 5 stars
4/15/00 Gremlin Oh yeah!...kick ass movie. 5 stars
3/22/00 Booyah! Just incredible. A landmark. 5 stars
3/01/00 Mic A look at the underworld of America. Excellent bar the ending. 4 stars
2/12/00 Skye Chapman the stuff of legends 5 stars
11/26/99 Matt Henderson Superb exploration of post-Vietnam American ideology, media, violence. Scorsese rules! 5 stars
11/17/99 perpetual loser harvey keitel as a pimp. gotta love this flick. 5 stars
10/22/99 Surinder Travis Bickle Singh Bob at his best, a masterpiece and the best film of the 70's! 5 stars
9/08/99 Elijah Very well worth the look. 4 stars
8/10/99 Ted Wetzel A fascinating look into the mind of a lonely and slightly disturbed (but sympathetic) man. 5 stars
7/28/99 Matthew Bartley Sometimes they are as good as they say 5 stars
7/20/99 Wade Walsh It draws you in because you are not Travis Bickle, but can relate to his madness. 5 stars
7/17/99 soccer_mum Are you looking at me?!?!? Classic DeNiro....See it...more than once! 5 stars
7/14/99 Marshy Taxi! Arrrrggghhh! (dies). Seriously, this is classic and shouldn't be missed. 5 stars
7/06/99 The Bomb 69 the first half was slow but with an ending like that it was worth it 5 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Great portrait of an insane lunatic. I especially like Scorsese's cameo. 4 stars
6/17/99 Vick Di Brecci Hey look! Another Fucking Awesome! 5 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam A young Jodi - pretty skanky. Good film though 5 stars
3/06/99 Meepos A repeat viewer for time eternal. Will always be on another level. 5 stars
2/09/99 Bob, Lord of Evil This is DeNiro's movie. Well, this and Raging Bull... Oh and Awakenings!!! 5 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink One of Scorsesse's best films!! 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred Everything about this movie rocks!! I can watch it anytime, anywhere!! 5 stars
11/21/98 little jerry Greatest example of interior acting I've ever seen.De Niro's best. 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob A brutally insightful film, expertly crafted and unflinchingly excellent! 5 stars
10/19/98 Kwyjibo Scorcese and Schrader were a great team. A seriously brutal awesome movie. 5 stars
9/15/98 Ben A classic movie which these days are few and far between 5 stars
9/04/98 pooky the bald The ending made me nauseous. But the film was great. DeNiro rocks. 4 stars
9/04/98 Badass Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/30/98 Mister Whoopee Not a hole to poke in this classic. It's up and down fucking awesome. 5 stars
8/29/98 Johny DeNiro's preformance is not to be forgotten 5 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Just classic. The quintessential film for angry young men. 5 stars
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  08-Feb-1976 (R)
  DVD: 15-Jun-1999

  N/A (18)

  10-Jun-1976 (R)

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