Taxi Driver Parents Guide

Taxi Driver Parental Guidance Review and Ratings. Age rating, objectionable content, positive messages, cast overview, and family suitability.

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver is a 1976 American psychological thriller film starring Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a lonely and isolated taxi driver in New York City who becomes increasingly disturbed by the violence and corruption he witnesses on the streets.

He begins to fantasize about saving the city from its ills, and eventually decides to take matters into his own hands.

The film is a powerful and disturbing exploration of the themes of alienation, violence, and redemption. De Niro gives a tour-de-force performance as Travis, and Scorsese’s direction is masterful.

The film’s cinematography is also noteworthy, with its use of long takes and close-ups to create a sense of claustrophobia and tension.

Taxi Driver is a classic of American cinema, and it remains one of the most influential films ever made. It has been praised by critics and audiences alike for its raw power and its unflinching look at the dark side of the human psyche.

Taxi Driver is rated R and contains mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences. Read on to find out more about age appropriateness, potentially objectionable content, positive messages, cast overview, and overall suitability for children and families.

Age Rating and Content Warnings

Taxi Driver is rated R for language, some strong graphic violence, and sexual material involving a minor. It is important to note that this movie contains highly realistic and graphic violence, as well as explicit sexual references. Due to the intense nature of the film, we recommend it for mature audiences only.

Sex & Nudity

Taxi Driver includes several scenes with sexual content and nudity. A 12-year-old prostitute plays an important role in the movie, and there is a disturbing scene where a gangster dances with and gropes the young girl. It is heavily implied that he has been raping and molesting her. Additionally, there are sexual references throughout the film, including the use of explicit language. While there is no clear nudity, there is a very quick glimpse of a female rear. It’s important to be aware that this movie contains mature sexual themes that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.

Violence & Gore

The movie features graphic and realistic violence, especially towards the end. There are scenes depicting shootings, stabbings, and intense acts of violence. The violence is infrequent until the final sequence, where it becomes unexpectedly graphic and ruthless. There are overwhelming amounts of blood, gore, and disturbing imagery during this sequence. Scenes show bloody walls, footprints, and gory corpses. It’s essential for parents to consider the intense and graphic nature of the violence portrayed in this film.


Taxi Driver contains some instances of vulgar and explicit language. There is one use of the word “cum” and other sexual references throughout the movie. Parents should be aware that the film includes mature and vulgar language.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

The protagonist regularly takes pills presumed to be amphetamines and drinks alcohol while walking down the street. Characters in the film also drink and smoke. Additionally, a 12-year-old girl briefly smokes a cigarette. It’s important for parents to note the presence of drug use and smoking throughout the movie.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

Taxi Driver portrays a man’s declining sanity as he grapples with existentialism. The main character’s actions throughout the movie are extremely disturbing, and his mental state becomes more unhinged and disturbed as the film progresses. This movie is known for its intense and depressing atmosphere, which may not be suitable for younger or sensitive viewers.

Positive Messages and Themes

While Taxi Driver contains mature and intense content, it also explores themes of isolation, social unrest, and the consequences of unchecked mental health issues. The film serves as a thought-provoking commentary on the human condition and the struggles some individuals face. However, it is important to note that these positive messages are presented in the context of mature and disturbing content.

Cast Overview

Taxi Driver features an exceptional cast, including Robert De Niro as the protagonist Travis Bickle, Jodie Foster as the young prostitute Iris, and Cybill Shepherd as Betsy. The performances in the film are widely praised for their authenticity and emotional depth, contributing to the overall impact of the story.

What You Should Know

1. Is Taxi Driver appropriate for children?

No, Taxi Driver is not suitable for children. It is rated R due to its explicit content, including graphic violence, sexual material involving a minor, and mature themes. The film explores disturbing and intense subject matter that may not be suitable for young audiences.

2. What age is recommended for watching Taxi Driver?

We recommend that only mature audiences who are 18 years or older watch Taxi Driver. The film’s content, including its violence, sexual references, and intense themes, is best suited for adult viewers who can handle its disturbing nature.

3. Can I watch Taxi Driver with my teenager?

Watching Taxi Driver with your teenager depends on their maturity level and your comfort as a parent. The film contains explicit content that may be intense and disturbing for some teenagers. We recommend previewing the movie and having an open discussion about its themes and content before deciding to watch it together.

4. Are there any positive messages in Taxi Driver?

Yes, Taxi Driver explores themes such as isolation, social unrest, and the consequences of untreated mental health issues. It offers a thought-provoking commentary on the human condition. However, it’s important to note that these positive messages are presented within the context of mature and disturbing content.

5. How much violence is in Taxi Driver?

Taxi Driver contains several instances of graphic and realistic violence. While the majority of the film is not excessively violent, the intensity increases towards the end, where there are scenes of shootings, stabbings, and disturbing acts of violence. The final sequence is particularly intense and includes overwhelming amounts of blood and gore.

6. Does Taxi Driver contain nudity?

While Taxi Driver does not feature explicit nudity, there are sexual scenes and references throughout the movie. There is a brief glimpse of a female rear, and the film heavily implies sexual exploitation involving a 12-year-old prostitute. Parents should be aware of these mature sexual themes when considering whether to allow their children to watch the film.

7. Can I skip certain scenes to make it more suitable for my child?

While it’s technically possible to skip certain scenes, it is important to note that the mature content is pervasive throughout Taxi Driver. The film’s disturbing themes and graphic content are woven into the overall narrative, making it challenging to selectively skip scenes without missing crucial plot points. It’s best to consider the film’s rating and content warnings before deciding to watch it with younger viewers.

8. Are there any positive role models in Taxi Driver?

Taxi Driver primarily focuses on complex and troubled characters, and it may be challenging to identify traditional positive role models. However, the film offers an exploration of the consequences of a disturbed mind and the importance of seeking help for mental health issues. It can serve as a conversation starter about the importance of empathy and understanding.

9. Can watching Taxi Driver be educational for teenagers?

While Taxi Driver provides an insightful portrayal of the human psyche and raises important societal questions, its mature content and disturbing nature may overshadow its educational value for teenagers. It is essential to consider your teenager’s maturity level and sensitivities before determining if the film is appropriate for them.

10. Is Taxi Driver based on a true story?

Taxi Driver is not based on a true story but rather a fictional narrative. However, the film reflects the gritty reality of urban life and the psychological struggles of its characters. It presents a fictional account that resonates with real-world issues and concerns.

11. Can Taxi Driver be considered a family-friendly movie?

No, Taxi Driver is not a family-friendly movie. It contains explicit content, intense themes, and graphic violence. The film is rated R, indicating that it is not suitable for younger audiences. It is best reserved for mature viewers who can handle its disturbing and intense nature.

The Verdict

Considering the explicit sexual content, graphic violence, mature themes, and intense atmosphere of Taxi Driver, we strongly advise parents to exercise caution before allowing their children to watch this film. The R rating is indicative of the mature and disturbing nature of the content. It is best suited for mature audiences who can handle the intensity and explicitness of the movie. For families with younger children, we recommend exploring other family-friendly movie options.