The Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller With Gary Oldman Everyone Should See

By Douglas Helm | Updated

Tau (2018)

Gary Oldman is quite the chameleon and has been in all types of different genres, including plenty of sci-fi films. While his sci-fi films, like The Fifth Element and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, get a lot of attention, he also has a lot of films you might have missed — like Tau. Tau is a Netflix film that hit the streamer back in 2018, and it might be worth checking out if you missed it when it was released.

Tau, in which Gary Oldman voices the titular AI, is streaming on Netflix.

Tau is a sci-fi film that follows a woman named Julia who is abducted by a scientist trying to perfect his artificial intelligence, causing the woman to try and escape by reasoning with the same AI. The film stars Gary Oldman as the AI voice named Tau, Maika Monroe as Julia, and Ed Skrein as the scientist. The cast is rounded out by Fiston Barek, Ivana Zivkobic, Sharon D. Clarke, and Ian Virgo.

Ed Skrein in Tau (2018)

So Tau may not be one of Gary Oldman’s best movies, but if you appreciate the actor’s ability to disappear into a role, then you might enjoy him playing an AI in the film.

Tau is directed by Federico D’Alessandro from a screenplay by Noga Landau.  David S. Goyer, Kevin Turen, Russell Ackerman, and John Schoenfelder produced the film, while Ken Kao, Dan Kao, and Luc Etienne will executive produce. Netflix ended up getting the distribution rights and released the film in 2018.

While Tau is buoyed by great performances from its lead trio, it unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to its lofty premise. The film was critically panned upon its release and got mixed reviews from audiences overall. In short, your results may vary with the film — some people like it quite a bit, while some people absolutely hate it.

So Tau may not be one of Gary Oldman’s best movies, but if you appreciate the actor’s ability to disappear into a role, then you might enjoy him playing an AI in the film. Otherwise, Oldman has quite a few projects on the way that seem like they’ll be pretty interesting.

Not the least of which is the upcoming third season of the tragically underrated spy Apple TV+ series Slow Horses, which follows a group of British Intelligence agents who get the missions everyone else doesn’t want due to the mistakes they’ve made throughout their career.

Like Tau, Slow Horses is definitely one of Gary Oldman’s more under-the-radar projects, but unlike Tau, Slow Horses gets nothing but good reviews from those who tune in to check it out. You can binge both seasons of Slow Horses on Apple TV+ now before the third season comes out in the near future.

The third season of the series doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it’s reportedly set to come out before the end of the year, so now is the perfect time to catch up on it.

Also, you can still catch Gary Oldman in Oppenheimer if you haven’t checked out Christopher Nolan’s latest film in theaters yet. As mentioned, Oldman can always disappear into a character, like how he voices an AI in Tau, and you never actually see his face. In Oppenheimer, Oldman has the smaller role of President Truman, but, as always, he more than makes a last impression with his performance.

Maika Monroe in Tau (2018)

Gary Oldman In Star Citizen

Gary Oldman also has a couple more sci-fi projects coming up, but instead of being a movie like Tau, they’re actually voice roles for upcoming video games. Perhaps the most exciting of his upcoming video game projects is the long-awaited crowd-funded space trading and combat simulation MMO Star Citizen. While there is still no release date for the game, people have been waiting since 2010 for the highly ambitious project to come out.

Star Citizen also ended up getting a spin-off standalone project called Squadron 42 which will be a single-player game that takes place in the Star Citizen universe.

The game is set to feature multiple episodes and will also star Gary Oldman, along with a star-studded voice cast that includes big names like Mark Hamill, Gillian Anderson, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies, Jack Huston, Eleanor Tomlinson, Harry Treadaway, Sophie Wu, Damson Idris, Eric Wareheim, Rhona Mitra, Henry Cavill, and Ben Mendelsohn.

Unfortunately, both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 have yet to give us an official release date yet, so you’ll just have to settle for watching other Gary Oldman projects like Tau while we wait for those games to finally come out.