Social Dimensions of Crime in Martin Scorsese's film "Taxi Driver" Film Review by scribbler

Social Dimensions of Crime in Martin Scorsese's film "Taxi Driver"
An analysis of the social dimensions of the criminal justice system in Martin Scorsese's film "Taxi Driver".
# 153275 | 1,733 words | 8 sources | APA | 2013 | US

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This paper examines Martin Scorsese's film "Taxi Driver" to demonstrate different social and cultural dimensions of crime and justice and to highlight the complicated theme of violence that many consider to be a glorification of violence. The paper asserts that Scorsese's attempts to raise critical questions in the film and the ambiguity of the messages make the film a good choice for analyzing the relationship between media and crime. Furthermore, the paper shows how the film raises questions about the elusiveness and ambiguity of the idea of justice and addresses how public perceptions of crime and punishment may be different from the principles of the criminal justice system.

From the Paper:

"But there is a broader theme in this regard. As Rafter (2000) points out, a recurring theme in films depicting crime is "the difficulty of achieving justice . . . [which] . . . as a goal . . . is elusive, demanding, and often ambiguous than it first appears" (p. 138). This is certainly the case in Taxi Driver. At a scene when Travis has a breakfast with Iris, Iris asks him what the solution is and whether it is the police. Travis replies that the police cannot help. In fact, the lawlessness in the city and the inability of the police as well as politicians to tackle the problem of crime in the city induces Travis to take up arms against the gangsters. But here again, it is not clear whether Travis achieves justice by brutally murdering three people. His act is a violation of the law, disruption of the rules and regulations of the criminal justice system which is in place to ensure that order is preserved. And there is also Travis's attempt to assassinate Senator Palantine to avenge Betsy's refusal or win her admiration. That is a criminal intent, but the empathetic depiction of Travis's character in the film is likely to stir sympathy--or, at least, understanding--of his behavior. So, justice is not only difficult to achieve but its definition is also elusive and ambiguous."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Berardinelli, J. (n.a.) Taxi Driver: Movie Review. Retrieved on March 20, 2011, from
  • Berger, A.A. (1998) Media Research Techniques. London: Sage Publications. 2nd edition.
  • Berger, A.A. (2005, 3rd edn.) Media Analysis Techniques, London: Sage publications.
  • Carrabine, E. (2008) Crime, Culture and the Media, Cambridge: Polity.
  • Howe, D. (1996) Taxi Driver (R). Washington Post. Retrieved on March 20, 2011, from

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Social Dimensions of Crime in Martin Scorsese's film "Taxi Driver" (2013, May 13) Retrieved January 22, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Social Dimensions of Crime in Martin Scorsese's film "Taxi Driver"" 13 May 2013. Web. 22 January. 2022. <>