Taxi Driver (4K UHD Blu-ray Steelbook Review)

Taxi Driver is a benchmark of 1970s cinema. The film is dark, gritty, grimy and shocking.  Travis Bickle is the man we witness descending into the bowels of his mental health.  Desperate for some clean normalcy, but dragging himself into other more torrid directions, we travel the darkness of 1970s New York with him and we begin to feel his paranoia. And now, nearly 50 years later, we are given this film in a 4K UHD Blu-ray package that was once only available in Columbia Classics Vol. 2’s set of 6 films.  Are there any improvements to the transfer included there? Anything new? Read on below and if you don’t have it already, be sure to click the cover art at the end to get yourself the new Steelbook!


This release was previously covered by my colleague Brandon Peters. His excellent review can be viewed HERE.

I have had an affinity for Taxi Driver since I was in high school.  I was a teenager armed with a library card and checked out any media I could get my hands on.  After seeing the documentary “A Decade Under the Influence” I became enamored with 70’s cinema, which sprung forth my love of films like The Godfather, Chinatown, Mean Streets and Taxi Driver. Taxi Driver in particular was unsettling to me.  To see a time in American life that wasn’t super far from my reality in the early 2000s, yet it felt so alien, but I still wanted to engross myself in it.  The reality of racism, sexism, outright child sex slavery, and brutal violence truly took me over.

The film literally made me question my upbringing. I had never seen such things and the shock of the film at first viewing only made me want to dive deeper into it.  I have read about Taxi Driver, seen many featurettes, documentaries and interviews about the film, and watched it dozens of times too. I can’t say that the viewing experience is the same for everyone.  There is a scene in which Martin Scorsese cameos as a man who wants to confront his cheating wife. He blatantly says he wants to kill her and her male lover. The other man, he wants him dead because of not just cheating, but because he is black.  Scorsese’s scorned man also discusses what his gun will to do his wife’s genitals.  The scene still makes me uneasy to this day.  Seeing Harvey Keitel’s pimp character Sport put the moves on a pre-teen Jodie Foster as Iris also makes me uneasy, knowing this really happens even now.  I think these moments though, make the film remain relevant, regardless of the time in which the film was made.

I will say that for all my glowing love of the film, it is not for everyone, and that’s more than fine.  Films like Taxi Driver are often divisive and just like all cinema, films are subjective.  Take from the film what you will. It’s harrowing, visceral and made with so much love by Martin Scorcese. Written by Paul Schrader, the film is a time capsule of the grimy streets of 70s New York and one that begs for repeat viewings.


Taxi Driver’s Steelbook edition contains the same discs are the Columbia Classics Vol. 2 set. See Brandon’s review of the video quality HERE.


See Brandon’s review of the audio quality HERE.


This release of Taxi Driver comes in a standalone steelbook with bundled Blu-ray and digital code.  The steelbook is a recreation of the cover art included in the Columbia Classics Vol. 2 set, with a new back artwork of Travis Bickle in his cab.  Inside, we see the most unhinged Travis, after he cuts his hair into the famous mohawk. The discs inside are the exact same discs as the previous release, so if you do own that Columbia Classics set, unless you want the new steelbook, this is not a necessary purchase. For those looking for the film on its own, this is the best way to see the film at home. Read about the features in Brandon’s review HERE.


Taxi Driver will always be discussed, debated and viewed.  It’s a film classic that turned the psychological drama on its ear.  It’s poignant, but also brutal.  There are moments that will make you feel dirty.  There are moments of though provoking meaning and there are true moments of tense fear.  This is for me a can’t miss film, and one that somehow, despite the grim subject matter sparkles. This new Steelbook contains the same 2021 4K Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray and is now a way to collect the film outside of the Columbia Classics Vol. 2 set. Worth a pickup if you haven’t got it already, and what a way to bring a classic film to the 4K format. Outstanding!


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