Frank Ritz’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's been a long time since I considered this a masterpiece. Really came around on it (fully; went from a reserved 4.5 to the full 5er) while recording our podcast episode (I swear information is coming soon). Just felt like the most in depth I've ever sat and just ruminated on everything going on in this film, and suddenly saw a thought out mapping of the film, with so much intention, and choice, it was hard to deny. The perfect mirror images of it's halves, and the idea of every scene is creating Travis' character, because he's essentially a baby in the world for the first time (war is scary thing, innit?). Don't know if it's freakier to think that it was overly planned to death by both Scorsese and Schrader, or if it just was driven by instinct. Two young men frothing from the mouth, wanting to get inside something nitty gritty, and explore. Travis is the epitome of the worst, and that's definitely no hot take, but I finally felt sadness in the beginning towards him, before it crumpled down into watching a deplorable human have no idea how to even function in this world. [Unjustified] White Male Rage running rampant without purpose, when that's all anyone seeks in life.
W e l i v e i n a s o c i e t y
Shout out to Pauline Kael's review from the time of release, that I straight up read three paragraphs from during our recording, that I do recommend reading; really amazing stuff in there. She hits the most important nail on the head:
THIS IS A HORROR MOVIE