FROM SWASHBUCKLERS TO SUPERMEN: A HISTORY OF ACTION-MOVIE HEROES
There’s a moment in Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation — Tom Cruise career-saver, franchise MVP and the summer's best non-Imperator Furiosa action blockbuster — where the CIA director refers to the film's relentless hero as "the living manifestation of destiny." As a government official talking about an unpredictable agent, the line is patently (if knowingly) ridiculous. As Alec Baldwin talking about Tom Cruise, the dialogue sounds right on the money. That phrase could be dropped into the first sentence of his biography and nobody would think twice. — ROLLING STONE
It wasn’t necessarily clear on the evening of February 27, 2011, but Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross winning an Academy Award for the dissonant industrial score for The Social Network, beating the likes of Hans Zimmer and his protégé John Powell, was a watershed moment. Zimmer lost for Inception, the “Braaahmms!” that soon became ubiquitous in both movies and their marketing, but the impact of the win had less to do with the music than with the musicians. The Academy had vouched for rock stars before, but giving an Oscar to the mastermind of Nine Inch Nails isn’t the same as giving one to Talking Heads frontman David Byrne for helping Ryuichi Sakamoto and Cong Su evoke traditional Chinese compositions in The Last Emperor. In an instant, the same award for which John Williams had been nominated 44 times belonged to the guy who wrote “Closer,” and suddenly anything seemed possible.
— THE DISSOLVE