Taxi Driver was one of Martin Scorsese's films that got him on the pantheon of great film directors. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Score.
The film is about a former U.S. Marine named Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro) who gets a job as a taxi driver to cope with his insomnia, his life at this point has become a boring routine until he falls in love with a campaign volunteer named Betsy (played by Cybill Shepard). While that's going on, he is sick of the disgusting world that he lives in and wants to make a difference by trying to convince a teenage prostitute named Iris (played by Jodie Foster) to get out of the business, as well as thinking of plan to assassinate the presidential candidate that Betsy is volunteering for.
The movie is a phenomenal character study of a former Marine with depression trying to get through life and wanting to make a difference whether in a good way or a bad way. Robert De Niro's performance as Travis Bickle is just magnificent, he captures that feeling of loneliness, disgust, and desire perfectly. The score, composed by the late Bernard Hermann (which was his final score before he died) also symbolizes Travis' routine as a taxi driver with the soothing saxophone solo representing the nighttime of New York and that solo represents Travis' daily routine. There are times where the audience might find him creepy and there other times when they will see him as heroic.
Take for example, the ending scene where he basically massacres a brothel to rescue Iris, on one hand this can be seen as a heroic act, but once the cops show up, Travis sticks his bloody hand to his head points his finger toward it and makes gun noises as he is wounded, mixing in the heroic and creepy factor. This was shot in a darker color scheme as people would think it was too violent, but that aspects adds to the grittiness this film offers and this is one of the most gritty portrayals of New York ever.
Taxi Diver is one of the best movies ever made, with an unforgettable performance from Robert De Niro as the unforgettable character of Travis Bickle, a beautiful yet haunting score by Bernard Hermann, and a gritty and realistic portrayal of New York that only Martin Scorsese could pull off.