For many great reasons Scorsese’s Taxi Driver still stands tall in the records of cinematic history. While this brilliant film is like no other, we hope our list of some fantastic movies like Taxi Driver can help you find good recommendations. Taxi Driver was released in 1976 and became one of the greatest American psychological drama films ever made. The film resulted from Scorsese’s sharp direction, Robert De Niro’s chilling performance, and brilliantly written script. The praise-worthy stunning visuals are unforgettable. The film ostensibly mounted a harsh critique of America when adapting the film noir tradition for an even more cynical post-Vietnam era. Audiences worldwide have readily identified with the judgments of moral, social, and urban decay. Taxi Driver gets to the heart of isolation, hypocrisy, obsession, purity, corruption, desire, and vengeance.
List of Movies Like Taxi Driver
- American Psycho
- Blade Runner 2049
- Panic Room
- The Departed
- Night on Earth
1. Goodfellas (1990)
Martin Scorsese is undoubtedly a talented director, and one of his most notable films is the 1990 Goodfellas. Considered to be a crime genre classic, on surface value, Goodfellas does not have a lot in common with Taxi Driver, except for Robert De Niro. Instead, Scorsese’s mastery of deeper themes of vice, virtue, judgement, and forgiveness brings the two together. The film follows a couple of American citizens who engage in criminal activity to make money.
Based on Nichola Pileggi’s book Wise guy, this is a true story of an Irish-Italian Brooklyn mobster – Henry Hill spanning over 30 years. Henry always wanted to be a mobster and was taken under the wings by a local gangster ‘Paulie’ at 11. Initially running small errands, he gradually moves up the ladder to become one of the closest associates to Paulie. If you are looking for movies like Taxi Driver, then Goodfellas should be your first pick.
2. Drive (2011)
Drive is an action-drama film that follows an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a gateway driver. The protagonist quickly grows fond of a woman called Irene, who is married to a criminal. The driver promises to protect Irene and her son from her husband and some dangerous gangsters.
The films’ protagonists (Taxi Driver and Drive) have a lot in common. Both have sociopathic tendencies (I’d say Driver is saner than Bickle) and relish in violence yet see themselves as the ‘Heroes’ or ‘Force of Good’. The two films examine drivers on the brink of an outburst. Their psychological condition prevents them from being with the women they like. I highly recommend Drive if you’re a fan of films like Taxi Driver.
3. American Psycho (2000)
American Psycho is a horror film blended with black humour to satirise the consumerism and yippie culture of the 1980s. Patrick Bateman is a wealthy and materialistic investment banking executive who leads a double life as a serial killer. As the story progresses, he delves deep into his psychopathic and overindulgent fantasies.
Both the characters of Bateman and Bickle overlap in many ways. They put their normalcy in front of the world, secretly being up to violent crimes. But in the end, Bickle dreams of redemption and celebration of what he did, while Bateman takes another route. American Psycho is by far the one of most chilling movies similar to Taxi Driver.
Also Read: Movies like Inglourious Basterds
4. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Blade Runner 2049 is a sci-fi sequel film to the 1982 Blade Runner. Henry Ford reprises his role in the original movie alongside Ryan Gosling. In this near-future world, synthetic humans known as ”replicas” are bio-engineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on space colonies. The sequel was not very successful at the time of release but has become a modern cult classic ever since.
The movie has a similar late-night, relaxing feel to Taxi Driver. Officer K (Ryan Gosling), the new blade runner for the LAPD, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to tumble what’s left of society into chaos. The dark, immoral, nihilistic atmosphere and absolutely stunning visuals will remind you of movies like Taxi Driver, hence do give this movie a try.
5. Se7en (1995)
Se7en or just Seven is a psychological crime thriller and tells a story of a retiring Detective William Somerset, who partners with a short-tempered idealistic Detective David Mills. They hunt a serial killer who uses Dante’s seven deadly sins as his motives.
Like Taxi Driver, Seven is set in the underbelly of New York and focuses on the idea that the story’s true villain is society. Simple-minded people are highly affected by murderous crimes. In contrast, the criminals believe they are the ‘good ones,’ and their actions are for the better of society. Se7en is a great choice for films like Taxi Driver.
6. Panic Room (2002)
Panic Room is a thriller film directed by David Fincher, and it features a grown-up Jodie Foster in the lead role of Meg. A recently divorced mother, Meg, and her daughter Sarah find themselves hiding in a panic room in their new home when 3 dangerous burglars break in. Little do they know; the panic room is what the burglars are after.
The film is as straightforward in suspenseful storytelling as Taxi Driver. Though Panic Room got high praise from critics for Jodie’s exciting and exceptional performance, it has become one of Fincher’s most underrated films. Panic Room is an excellent Joie Foster film to watch if you wish to see more movies similar to Taxi Driver.
7. The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is a 2006 American epic crime thriller film. A remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs and is loosely based on the real-life Boston Winter Hill Gang. The Departed is an action-packed thriller set in Boston, where a long-simmering hostility between the police department and an Irish American gang is on the verge of explosion.
The film follows two characters, a gangster (Matt Damon), chosen to infiltrate the police force, and a young cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) who goes undercover with the gang. In my opinion, this is one of Scorsese’s best films. The soundtrack is incredible, with jazzy beats and classic numbers, and the story is no short of being phenomenal. The Departed is a perfect film to watch if you’re looking for movies like Taxi Driver. Go Check it out.
Also Read: Movies like Prisoners
8. Joker (2019)
As you might have guessed, Joker is a film that centres on the most famous villain of the Batman stories. This film serves as a standalone origin story of the character’s alienating and unjust experiences. The director Todd Phillips has spoken about Taxi Driver heavily influencing this film. Both films follow the main characters who suffer from mental illness, and the world around them refuses to accept them (they represent the ignored society).
As the characters reach their breaking point, they resort to killing people. A significant reason for this thematic similarity is that Scorsese was involved in the pre-production of Joker, while Robert De Niro appears as a talk show host in the film. Suppose you want to see films with a familiar sense of relationships, violence, and anti-heroic arcs. In that case, Joker should be the right pick for movies like Taxi Driver.
9. Night on Earth (1991)
Night on Earth is a 1991 art comedy-drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. The artistic 1991 film Night On Earth is an interesting example of how a taxi driver can sit at the centre of an interesting storyline. Its artistic approach uses five separate stories that each focus on the bond between the taxi driver and their passengers.
Jarmusch is a poet of the night. Much of Night on Earth creates the same kind of lonely, elegiac, romantic mood as Mystery Train, his film about wanderers in nighttime Memphis. Tom Waits’ music helps to establish this mood of cities that have been emptied of the waking. It’s as if the minds of these night people are affected by all of the dreams and nightmares that surround them. Similar to Taxi Driver, if you’re interested in watching more movies like Taxi Driver, Night on Earth should be a film for you.
Here are a few brilliant movies like Taxi Driver that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- The Batman