Movies Directed by Martin Scorsese

Film directors always play a crucial role in the development and success of a film. Many exceptional directors have been known for their support and management throughout the film that helps in an ideal film creation for the audience as well. The famous American movie director MS said, “Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.” MS has been known for many of the top grossing films in the American film industry. For his outstanding directions and work, he has been presented with multiple awards as well. Find out more about MS and the movies directed by him in the article below.

About Martin Charles Scorsese

Martin Charles Scorsese is an icon of art and perfection when it comes to the New Hollywood era. He has been an American film director, producer, actor, and screenwriter as well. The director has been known for his influential films that have changed Hollywood films and became an influence on pop culture as well. MS has been directing films where he depicts the Italian American identity since his background has been from Italy as well. Scorsese has also been doing films revolving around the concept of guilt, redemption, and faith. Sensitive subjects and thriller ideas such as those involving crime and tribalism have also been a part of MS’ films.

With these sensitive subjects, he does add on to his films with the help of rock music and depiction of open violence which has had him in a few controversies in the past as well.

MS has been nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director for 12 times of which he has won one time. For his work in American media, he has been awarded the Kennedy Center Honor as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame that gave him a star too. For the cinematic contributions, MS has received AFI Life Achievement Award. Other important awards received by the director include Cannes Film Festival Award, Silver Lion, Various Golden Globe and Emmy Awards, BAFTA Awards and Directors Guild of America Awards as well

The exceptional career of MS has not only been related to directing the films but also having Hollywood promoted by developing and promoting organizations dedicated for film and cinemas. This includes The Film Foundation created in 1990, The World Cinema Foundation founded in 2007, and The African Film Heritage Project which was founded recently in 2017.

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver was a psychological thriller drama film which was one of the most popular films by the director for the controversies that it sparked. Stars of the film included Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, and Peter Boyle. The story revolves around a taxi driver who plans to assassinate both presidential candidates for the woman he is infatuated with.

MS had to face criticism on the movie for casting Jodie Foster who was only 12 years old but was depicted as a prostitute within the film. The second major controversy arose when John Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate the real time president of the United States, Ronald Regan, to impress Jodie Foster. MS was so depressed on hearing this that he even thought of quitting the film industry. Many critics also said that the film was X-Rated.

Poster of the film, The Taxi Driver

Cape Fear

Cape Fear was another major American psychological thriller film released in the year 1991 and was a remake of the same name film in 1962. Stars of the film included Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, and Joe Don Baker. Cape Fear was a story about a convicted rapist who used his knowledge of law and its loopholes to stand against a public defender who he blamed for the 14-year imprisonment.

The review aggregator website named rotten tomatoes gave it a rating of 74% with a score of 7.04 / 10. Robert De Niro’s performance was exceptional in this film which is why he was nominated for the Best Director in Oscar Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

Cape Fear film poster, 1991

New York, New York

A different genre targeted by MS was in the form of this film which was a musical film. The film starred Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro as musicians and lovers. Unlike other thrillers, this was much more of a colorful film based on love and feelings. He tried to engage the music of the 1940s in the gritty realism of the 70s. Although it was not as much successful on its release, it later became a somewhat success for being of fun curiosity to the audience. The song “New York, New York” was the title track of the film. With a small budget of $14 million, the film earned $16 million only.

The Departed

Perhaps the best movie under the director was The Departed because it was the reason why the director got the Academy Award for the Best Director. It was yet another crime film by the director and was released in 2006. Stars of the film included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg.

The film revolved around gangs and how a spy by the police tries to approach them but must face consequences later for being manipulated by a corrupt FBI Agent. The film received very little criticism and won several awards and a total of four Oscars as well. The Departed had a budget of $90 million on which it earned a big sum of $291 million.

Poster of the film, The Departed

Black Comedy

Movies directed by MS also had a particular area of black comedy. Most of the films by the director under the Black comedy genre were quite successful. After Hours was a 1985 film which starred Griffin Dunne. The film follows the story of an individual who experiences different misadventures on his way to home during the night. The film won  Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature while MS received the award for Best Director in the Cannes Film Festival. The movie received positive criticism for its dark humor as it was not as much offensive.

The Wolf of Wall Street was one of them which recounts the experience of a stockbroker in New York City who also engaged his entire firm in corruption and fraud that led to its fall. Film stars included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. The film received positive reviews from the critics but for portraying the dark humor, it was also criticized for promoting immoral behaviors as well. However, in its theatrical release, it became the most grossing film of MS.

Poster of The Wolf of Wall street, starring Leonardo Di Caprio

The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ was a film released in 1988 and was one of the most unique ones because it was based on religious values and faith. It was based on the controversial novel of the same name that was written in 1955 by Nikos Kazantzakis. The film showed the struggle of Christ towards religion, fear and doubt but also showed a sensitive aspect of Christ being involved in depression and lust.

The film was quite controversial and was banned in many countries while the Christian community actively protested against. The film did show a disclaimer that “This film is not based on the Gospels, but upon the fictional exploration of the eternal spiritual conflict”.


Silence was a film released in 2016. It was shot in Taiwan and starred Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds. The film plot revolved around Jesuit Priests who travelled from Portugal to Japan in order to locate their missing mentor and spread Christianity as well. It was based on the 1971 film of the same name. It was yet another film by MS that was focused on challenges in terms of faith. Although it received several award nominations as well as it was made as the one of the top ten films of the year by American films institute, it was not able to have commercial success as it earned only half of its budget of $50 million.

Silence Poster, 2016


In conclusion, it can be deduced that MS has been one of the most influential personalities and an exceptional film / movie director in the American history. With many significant films that he has directed, he changed the perception and way how Hollywood creates new films. His films like The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ and Silence are still considered as remarkable. We do suggest you watch one of his films on the weekend – You will definitely like it.