TAU (2018) Reviews and overview

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Tau is a 2018 American science fiction horror thriller feature film directed by Federico D’Alessandro from a screenplay by Noga Landau. The movie stars Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein and the voice of Gary Oldman.

Julia (Maika Monroe), a young woman, is abducted by Alex (Ed Skrein) and held captive in his futuristic smart house. She hopes to escape by breaking into Tau, the computer programs that control the house…


“Small star power can only distract from wimpy CGI effects, TV movie production value, and intrigue inertia for so long. Anytime Tau does manage to wake up and engage, the movie only reminds that it gave up during the first act, mistakenly thinking it could get by on being a Maika Monroe male fantasy reel for the remainder.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“Even at a lean 97 minutes, Tau begins to drag by the second half, where we’re treated to repetitive scenes of Monroe creeping around Alex’s posh house while wearing an array of glamorous frocks. Things finally get going in the dying moments, where the horror overtones of the first act suddenly return with a blackly comic vengeance; by this point, though, any wisps of tension and suspense have long since ebbed.” Ryan Lambie, Den of Geek!

“When not striking a thoughtful pose, the script behaves like any other captive-woman drama does. Julia cowers, concocts daring escape attempts that invariably go awry, and eventually goes with the oldest trick in the book by turning Stockholm syndrome on her captor […] Skrein has none of the typical mad scientist’s kooky charisma or manic abandon, only the sadistic streak.” Charles Bramesco, The Guardian

“Little if anything in the picture speaks to the actual crises in humanity’s developing relationship with computers. For that, one can go to Black Mirror, or risk true horror and watch souls decay in real time on Twitter. But Tau is winningly guileless as it dresses an old story up in new clothes: Sometimes it takes a Creature to understand the depths of Doctor Frankenstein’s monstrosity.” John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“Skrein has the right, emotionally-lacking chiseled villain look and air, but inspires zero fear. Monroe, gripping in the higher-stakes, panic-stricken and sexually charged It Follows, is a bland heroine, physically engaged with the role but rarely more than a pretty presence at its center.” Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Here, it’s just passable popcorn entertainment for a Friday night on the couch, and not on the same level as more inspired Netflix genre movies from the likes of Mike Flanagan, such as Hush or Gerald’s Game. It is what it is. Tau displays some signs of life, but it wouldn’t pass a Turing test.” Jim Vorel, Paste

“There are a few formidable sci-fi discussion topics floating around Tau, which suggest that the story might have been better off focusing on them in a short, instead of being tied to a lumbering, tedious captivity feature […] As baffling as their involvement with this middling project may be, its trio of big names do try to sell the drama of the restricted concept.” Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

Cast and characters:

  • Maika Monroe … Julia – It Follows; The Guest; Flying MonkeysBad Blood
  • Ed Skrein … Alex
  • Gary Oldman … Tau – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Red Riding Hood; Robocop; The UnbornHannibal; Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Fiston Barek … Subject 2
  • Ivana Zivkovic … Subject 1
  • Sharon D. Clarke … Queenpin
  • Ian Virgo … Party Boy
  • Paul Leonard Murray … Executive
  • Dragoljub Ljubičić … Executive
  • Irene Chiengue Chiendjo … Executive
  • Greg De Cuir … Delivery Man
  • Danijel Korsa … Delivery Man


In May 2016, it was announced that Maika Monroe and Ed Skrein had joined the cast, with Federico D’Alessandro directing, with David S. Goyer (Blade films; Freddy vs. Jason; The Puppet Masters; et al), Kevin Turen, Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder producing, while Ken Kao, Dan Kao and Luc Etienne would executive produce the film, under their Addictive Pictures, Phantom 4, and Waypoint Entertainment banners, respectively.

In August 2016, it was announced Rhea Films and Hercules Film Fund would produce the film.


Tau was released on June 29, 2018, by Netflix.

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