If you’re looking for the best movies on Netflix, then avoid Tau at all costs. With titles like Step Sisters, Mute, The Open House, and Anon, among many, many others, Netflix original movies largely flop, and now, Tau can join that list. On the surface, Tau has a great concept and looks thrilling, but unfortunately, it’s incredibly boring. Written by Noga Landau and directed by Federico D’Alessandro, the Netflix film stars Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, and Gary Oldman as the voice of Tau.
With a critics’ score of 33 percent, and a viewers’ score of 57 percent, Rotten Tomatoes provides the premise for one of the worst movies on Netflix.
“Tau follows a once street-smart grifter, Julia (Monroe) who is the latest victim kidnapped and held captive in a fatal experiment. The only thing standing in the way of her freedom is Tau, an advanced artificial intelligence developed by Alex (Skrein), her captor. Tau is armed with a battalion of drones that automate a futuristic smart house. Tau’s potential is only limited by his understanding of the world he exists in, but Tau is ready for more. Julia, showing resourcefulness and courage, must race against time to bridge the boundaries between man and machine, connect to Tau and win her freedom before she suffers the same fate as the previous subjects.”
With a seemingly exciting plot, and a cast featuring Maika Monroe and Gary Oldman, it’s shocking how underwhelming Tau really is. By the looks of the trailer, this Netflix film looks like a nail-biter from beginning to end, but as we all know, trailers can often be deceiving. In a scene near the beginning, a mysterious man is threatening Julia with a cattle prod, forcing her to back up in a mysterious room, and this is the most suspenseful part of the Netflix movie.
Tau features dialogue that sounds like it was written by a pre-teen, and it’s extremely dull to boot. Upon questioning its own existence, the AI character asks simplistic questions. What is the outside? What is the sky? Am I a human? What is a house? This happens far too frequently and takes up several minutes of the film. This would have, perhaps, been appropriate decades ago, but many better sci-fi movies have covered this AI self-realization with far better dialogue.
Maika Monroe thrilled audiences with her performance in It Follows, often regarded as one of the best horror movies of the last decade. Gary Oldman recently won the Oscar for Best Actor for the 2017 smash-hit Darkest Hour, and it’s tough to reason why he followed up that gem with this dud. Oldman is known for his spot-on delivery, but that gift is largely absent in this one. It’s a shame that Netflix wasted such incredible talent like Monroe and Oldman, two actors that deserve much better material than this.
It wouldn’t have hurt to give the characters some depth. All the audience knows about Julia is that she uses people sexually to steal their money and personal belongings. Not exactly a good start to entice viewers to root for the main character, and the film never explains why she became a criminal to begin with.
There is an abundance of plot holes and unanswered questions that could fill a novel, like how Julia is named the seventh prisoner, but she is referred to as Subject No. 3; Tau is supposedly going to change the world, but it’s never revealed how it will do so; aside from the AI machine, the technology in the Netflix film is that of the tech existing today, so it’s unclear when the story actually takes place; and the plot gives the biggest question that remains unanswered; why does Alex need a human to test an AI, and why wouldn’t he just use his riches to pay a volunteer?
With a poorly written script, with utterly boring delivery, Tau is one of the most underwhelming movies on Netflix.