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  • Writer's pictureDamian Brzeski

11 best movies about taxis and taxi drivers

Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a film journey, today I will take you on a slightly different, lighter route, far from the guides and guides you often see on this Blog, straight to the world of cinema, where taxis and their drivers play the first fiddle . Is there anything more iconic in city movies than a yellow taxi? Or the character of a taxi driver who becomes a window into the world of a thousand stories?


From the dark streets of New York, through the glittering avenues of Los Angeles, to the picturesque corners of Marseille - taxis have become silent witnesses and participants in countless cinematic stories.


In this article, we will take a closer look at films that I have selected subjectively, in which taxis are not only a means transport, but real heroes, whether as silent witnesses of human dramas, comedic adventures or dangerous adventures.


From classic works, through cult titles, to lesser-known gems, each film on our list shows how diverse and fascinating stories taking place in the backseat of a taxi can be. So, ready for this movie ride? Let's go!



A yellow taxi waiting for the next passenger

TAXI DRIVER (1976)


Taxi Driver is the most iconic film about a taxi driver, which has permanently entered the canon of cinema as a masterpiece and a classic of the genre. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, this picture has become an icon of action and drama cinema, as well as a deep psychological study.



The story focuses on Travis Bickle, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from insomnia and starts working as a taxi driver in New York. The city depicted in the film is teeming with life, but at the same time full of violence and degradation. Travis, watching this from inside his taxi, gradually goes mad. His sense of isolation and misunderstanding turns into an obsession with ridding the city of crime and decadence.


De Niro portrayed Bickle with incredible intensity, creating a complex and multidimensional character. The famous scene where Travis stands in front of the mirror and says to his reflection "You talkin'". is that me?" became one of the most recognizable scenes in the history of cinema.

The film's script, written by Paul Schrader, tells not only about alienation and violence, but also about desperation and the search for meaning. Scorsese, known for his ability to create intense and emotional films, has used these themes to create a work that is both shocking and deeply moving.


Taxi Driver" was appreciated by critics and the audience, winning numerous awards and nominations, including Oscar nominations in several categories. Its influence on cinema is undeniable, and the film remains one of the most important works in the careers of both Scorsese and De Niro.


Film culture often refers to "Taxi Driver" as an example of cinema that is not afraid to explore the dark corners of the human psyche. It is a film that does not shy away from difficult topics and which, despite the passage of time, still remains relevant and significant.


Serial TAXI (1978 - 1983)


The series "Taxi", broadcast in the years 1978-1983, is a cult American production that gained recognition from viewers and critics for its warm humor, excellently written characters and an accurate look at everyday life. The creators of the series were James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis and Ed. Weinberger, who created not only a funny comedy, but also a program with a deeper message.



Taxi campaign takes place in New York and focuses on a group of taxi drivers working for the fictional company "Sunshine Cab Company". The characters are colorful and diverse, each of them has their own personal stories and dreams, which often contrast with their routine work.


Among the main characters we find: the nice but slightly naive Alex Reiger (played by Judd Hirsch), Bobby Wheeler (Jeff Conaway), who dreams of an acting career, and the eccentric Latka Gravas, played by Andy Kaufman, who was one of the most expressive characters in the series. p>


"Taxi" was distinguished by an excellent script that managed to combine humor with more serious topics, such as interpersonal relationships, ambitions and life's challenges. The series gained praise for the way it treated its characters with empathy and depth, avoiding one-dimensional stereotypes.


The series won many prestigious awards, including several Emmys for best comedy series. He was also praised for his outstanding acting, especially for Danny DeVito as the tyrannical but beloved taxi company manager, Louie De Palma.


"Taxi" influenced the way comedies are created, leaving a lasting mark on popular culture. Even though the last episode was broadcast over three decades ago, the series is still remembered and appreciated for its warmth, humor and human approach to the stories told.


TAXI 1 (1998)


"Taxi 1" (1998) is a dynamic French action comedy, directed by Gérard Pirès, with Luc Besson as the screenwriter. The film quickly gained popularity both in France and internationally, becoming a classic of the genre and starting a whole series of films under the same title.



The plot focuses on Daniel Morales, played by Sam Naceri, a former pizza courier who fulfills his dream of becoming a taxi driver in Marseille. However, this is not an ordinary taxi - Daniel has converted his car into a real racing car, capable of reaching dizzying speeds.


His life changes when he meets Émilia Vignale, a policewoman, played by Marion Cotillard, who must catch a group of German bank robbers. Daniel, with his super-fast taxi and unconventional methods, becomes Émilien's invaluable ally in the pursuit of criminals.


The movie "Taxi" combines humor, fast action and spectacular car chase scenes, which makes it considered one of the best French action comedies. The film is also characterized by colorful characters and a light tone that balances the tension resulting from the action.


Except that "Taxi" gained cult status among lovers of the genre, and also contributed to the increase in the popularity of its main actors, including Marion Cotillard, who later gained international fame.


Both critics and audiences praised the film for its energy, humor and ability to deliver pure, uncomplicated entertainment. The success of "Taxi" resulted in the creation of subsequent parts of the series that continue the adventures of Daniel and Émilien, although none of them achieved as much success as the original.


Serial "THE DRIVER" (2014)


The Driver" is a British drama miniseries from 2014, starring the excellent David Morrissey. The series consists of three episodes and was created by Danny Brocklehurst and Jim Poyser, with Morrissey collaborating on the script.

The plot centers on the character of Vince McKee, played by Morrissey, who is disillusioned with his life as a taxi driver in Manchester.



Vince struggles with marital problems and a difficult relationship with his daughter. His life changes when he meets his old friend Colin (Ian Hart), who offers him a job as a driver for a local gangster. Vince, looking for adrenaline and an escape from everyday life, decides to accept the offer, which leads him onto a path full of dangers and moral dilemmas.


The Driver received praise for its intense and emotional narrative and strong acting, particularly from Morrissey. The series explores themes such as responsibility, redemption and the consequences of bad decisions, combining elements of drama, thriller and action.


Critics praised the series for its depth, realistic portrayal of characters and skillful building of tension. The exposure of the main character's internal conflicts, combined with dynamic action, makes "The Driver" both a thoughtful character study and an absorbing drama.


Although The Driver has not become widely known on the international scene, it has gained cult status among many viewers who appreciate British television series for their distinctive depth and production quality. It's a perfect example of how television can focus on personal and emotional stories while still retaining elements of broader action and suspense.


BABY DRIVER (2017)


And now, maybe not about a taxi driver, but still about a professional driver, let's move on to one of the better car chase films of recent years: "Baby Driver". Directed by Edgar Wright, this energetic and stylish film debuted in 2017, delighting audiences with its original plot and stunning action scenes.



"Baby Driver" tells the story of a young, talented getaway driver nicknamed Baby, played by Ansel Elgort. Baby works for a crime boss, played by Kevin Spacey, and is a master car driver, using his skills to escape from heists.


Interestingly, Baby suffers from tinnitus (constant ringing in his ears), which he compensates by listening to music most of the time - and this music is an integral part of the film, giving rhythm to each scene.


The film stands out for its unique combination of music and action. Car chase scenes are synchronized with selected pieces of music, which gives an almost dance-like effect of choreographing the action. Thanks to this, "Baby Driver" offers a fresh and exciting take on the action genre, combining elements of crime, romance and comedy.


In addition to Elgort, the film also stars Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Lily James. Each of these characters brings their own unique energy to the film, creating a colorful and memorable mosaic.


"Baby Driver" was positively received by both critics and audiences, praised for its creativity, Wright's direction, as well as its unique combination of music and action. The film was also praised for its technical aspects, including editing and stunt driving scenes.


All in all, "Baby Driver" is a great mix of fast action, great soundtrack and original storytelling, which makes it one of the more unique and memorable automotive films of recent years.


NIGHT ON EARTH (1991)


"Night on Earth" (1991) is a unique film that, in an original way, presents the stories of various people taking place in taxis in various corners of the world. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, it is known for exploring human nature through unusual, often minimalist stories.



The film consists of five short but intense stories, each of them takes place in a different city and time, but all take place during one night. Starting from Los Angeles, through New York, Paris, Rome, and ending in Helsinki, "Night on Earth" shows the diversity of human experiences through the prism of passengers and taxi drivers.


Each story brings something unique: in Los Angeles we have a young woman (Winona Ryder) who dreams of becoming a car mechanic; in New York we meet the driver (Giancarlo Esposito) and his unexpected passenger; in Paris we follow a conversation between an immigrant from Côte d'Ivoire and a blind passenger; in Rome we immerse ourselves in the eccentric monologue of the driver (Roberto Benigni); and in Helsinki, the story focuses on three drunk factory workers who get into a taxi driven by an elderly man.


"Night on Earth" is a film that balances between comedy and drama, allowing viewers to reflect on life, death, happiness and the human condition. Known for his minimalist style, Jarmusch uses dialogue and character interactions to reveal the depth and complexity of human relationships.


The film was warmly received by critics for its originality, intelligent script and ability to portray different cultures and communities. Its universal message and authentic characters make "Night on Earth" remains one of Jarmusch's more memorable films and a classic of independent cinema.


THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997)


The Fifth Element" (1997), directed by Luc Besson, is a film that definitely stands out from science-fiction cinema with its original vision of the future, colorful aesthetics and a unique mix of humor, action and romance. The film has become a cult work, appreciated both for its unique aesthetics and for its original approach to the genre.



The action of "The Fifth Element" takes place in the year 2263 and tells the story of former commando and current taxi driver, Korben Dallas (played by Bruce Willis), who unexpectedly becomes a key figure in the search for the mysterious "Fifth Element" - the only way to save Earth from the approaching evil. The mysterious Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), who is the incarnation of the Fifth Element, falls into his taxi. With her, Korben becomes involved in a crazy adventure with the future of humanity at stake.


The film is known for its extremely creative production design, including its futuristic city, costumes and characters. The visual style of the film, created by French comic book artist Jean Giraud (Moebius) and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, contributed to the creation of a unique and recognizable aesthetic.


The Fifth Element combines various genres and styles, from comedy to drama and action, creating a work that is exciting, funny and moving at the same time. The world presented in the film is colorful and full of life, and each character, even the supporting ones, is expressive and unforgettable. The film also stars Gary Oldman, who plays antagonist Zorg, and Chris Tucker, who plays flamboyant radio presenter Ruby Rhoda.


The Fifth Element" gained cult status, primarily thanks to its unconventional approach to the science-fiction genre, unforgettable characters and an original and humorous plot. This film is often cited as an example of cinema that boldly experiments with form and content, offering viewers both entertainment and a rich visual experience.


HOSTAGE (2004)


"Hostage" (2004), also known by its original title "Collateral", is an intense action thriller directed by Michael Mann. The film stands out for its dark atmosphere and psychological depth, as well as excellent performances by Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx.



The film takes place over one night in Los Angeles. Jamie Foxx plays Max, a modest and conscientious taxi driver whose life changes unexpectedly when Vincent (Tom Cruise), a seemingly ordinary passenger, gets into his taxi. It quickly turns out that Vincent is a paid assassin who is tasked with eliminating five targets that night. Max is forced to cooperate and guide Vincent around the city, unintentionally becoming a participant in a series of crimes.


The movie "Hostage" is a great example of action cinema that combines tension and emotion with a deeper message. Director Michael Mann, known for his style and attention to detail, has created a film that is not only a suspenseful thriller, but also an interesting character study. The relationship between Max and Vincent evolves throughout the film, revealing different aspects of human nature and morality.


Visually "Hostage" stands out with stylized night shots of Los Angeles, which add an extraordinary atmosphere to the film. The dark, neon streets of the city are almost an additional character in the film, adding depth and character to it.


Both Foxx and Cruise deliver strong, compelling performances that have been praised by critics and audiences alike. Foxx received an Oscar nomination for his role in the Best Supporting Actor category.


"Hostage" is a film that combines elements of thriller, drama and action, offering viewers not only high-quality entertainment, but also the opportunity to reflect on human character and the choices that shape our lives.


DEV'S TAXI (1993)


Chicago Cab", also known as "Hellcab", is a 1997 film that depicts a day in the life of a taxi driver in Chicago. This independent film, directed by Mary Cybulski and John Tintori, is based on the stage play "Hellcab". by Will Kerns.



The main character of the film is a taxi driver, played by Paul Dillon. Throughout the day, from early morning to late at night, we see him ferrying a variety of passengers around wintry Chicago. Each passenger, from businessmen to drug addicts, from a couple in love to a mother with a child, brings their own history and problems to the taxi, creating a mosaic of human experiences and emotions.


"Chicago Cab" is an observational film that focuses on the dialogues and interactions between a taxi driver and his passengers. There is no single coherent plot, rather the film presents a series of short, often unrelated scenes that together create a picture of city life and its inhabitants.


What connects the individual episodes is the character of a taxi driver - a silent observer who becomes a witness of human joys, sorrows, frustrations and hopes.


The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of life in a big city and for its strong, naturalistic acting, especially from Dillon. "Chicago Cab" gives viewers a unique opportunity to look into the life of various social classes in Chicago, showing the city as a place full of contrasts and human diversity.


Even though "Chicago Cab" is not a widely known film, it is a valuable work of independent cinema, valued for its authentic approach to the topic of urban life and for its ability to capture the human condition in its many guises.


A TAXI DRIVER (2017)


"A Taxi Driver" from 2017 is a South Korean film that gained recognition from both critics and audiences around the world. Directed by Jang Hoon, it tells a touching true story set against the backdrop of dramatic historical events.



The film tells the story of Kim Man-seob, a taxi driver from Seoul, played by the outstanding South Korean actor Song Kang-ho. Man-seob, a widower raising his daughter alone, struggles with financial difficulties.


One day, he accidentally comes across an unusual assignment - he is to take a German reporter, Jürgen Hinzpeter (played by Thomas Kretschmann), to the city of Gwangju, which at that time is witnessing violent student protests and a brutal suppression by the military government in May 1980.


During his journey to Gwangju, Man-seob witnesses the atrocities committed by the military government against protesting citizens. The film shows his transformation from a man focused on his personal problems to someone who risks his life to help Hinzpeter document and expose the government's brutality to the world.


"A Taxi Driver" is not only an emotional and touching film, but also an important work that sheds light on key events in South Korean history. The film was praised for its authenticity, strong acting, and the way it connects the protagonist's personal story with a larger historical context.


Winning numerous awards and recognition at international film festivals, "A Taxi Driver" has gained the status of one of the most important South Korean films in recent years, highlighting the power of cinema in telling stories that are both local and universal.


CONSPIRACY THEORY (1997)


Finally, to close things off a bit, another Hollywood production, "Conspiracy Theory" (1997) is an American thriller with elements of action and comedy, directed by Richard Donner. The film follows the story of Jerry Fletcher, played by Mel Gibson, a taxi driver and conspiracy theorist who believes that the world is controlled by various secret organizations and government conspiracies.



Jerry regularly publishes his own pamphlet with various conspiracy theories, which are mostly ignored by those around him. His life changes when one of his theories unexpectedly turns out to be true. He becomes entangled in a dangerous intrigue that threatens his life.


The female lead stars Julia Roberts as Alice Sutton, a Justice Department lawyer who becomes linked to Jerry's fate.


The film combines elements of thriller and action with light humor and romance, creating a surprisingly effective mix. Gibson delivers an energetic and charismatic performance as the paranoid but charming taxi driver and conspiracy theorist, while Roberts adds gravitas and emotional depth to the film.


"Conspiracy theory" stands out for its original approach to the topic of conspiracy theories, combining humor and tension in an equally effective way. The script provides many twists and turns, keeping the audience in suspense from start to finish.


The film was positively received by both viewers and critics, who praised it for its well-constructed plot, strong acting and the ability to balance between different genres. "Conspiracy Theory" it is still remembered today as an intelligent and entertaining thriller that offers both entertainment and reflection on the topic of conspiracy theories and their impact on society.


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