Top 100 Movie Review: #47 – Taxi Driver (1976)

It Will Make You Squirm with Cognitive Dissonance.

Should we revere him or put him away forever?

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Robert De Niro in this psychological, punk-themed thriller.

American Film Institute’s Ranking: #47/100
Awards: Nominated for four winning none.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

The purpose of this film is to be disgusted. Robert De Niro’s character makes us cringe. We recoil from the degrading behavior found on 42nd street. The ending makes us face uncomfortable choices. I enjoyed this film, even though it made me squirm through out. There is also a message that challenges how we view people and events: we place so much burden on outcomes and sometimes fail to look at the person themselves.
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Top 100 Movie Review: #24 – Raging Bull (1980)

Lacked Intrigue.

The most exciting part of this movie was watching Robert De Niro get fat.

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Robert De Niro with a BMI <25.

American Film Institute Ranking: #24/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for eight while winning two for Best Actor (De Niro) and Best Film Editing.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

This film has a lot of pieces: a boxing angle, character study, beautiful black-and-white cinematography, artistic flare. All of this is crammed into a predictable trite: the amazing boxer who is both protagonist/antagonist because of his inner demons.

While the individual pieces are solid in their own way, they never really coalesce into something bigger due to the overall narrative missing a hook.

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