Continuity mistake: The soldiers takes off from the aircraft carrier in Boeing CH-46 helicopters. In the next scene they are flying towards the target and the helicopters are magically upgraded to the Boeing CH-47 model. The mistake is clearly seen when counting the landing gear on the two types. The CH-46 has a single front landing gear and the CH-47 has a double landing gear in the front.
Continuity mistake: Not only the CH-46s change into -47s, also the Bell 212/UH-1Ns (twin-engined) suddenly become Bell 205/UH-1Hs (single-engined).
Other mistake: During the ending scene, when Samuel L. Jackson is walking away from the camera across the lawn, he passes directly between the platoon on the right practicing rifle drill, and the platoon leader giving them orders. Marines are taught to NEVER do this. It is called "breaking ranks", and a Colonel in the Marine Corps would have known this.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the film when Samuel L. Jackson is walking out of the court the bruising under his right eye disappears and moves to the right side of his face instead.
Continuity mistake: Shortly after Samuel. L. Jackson speaks to the ambassador we see U.S. marines taking up positions on the rooftop, if you watch as the camera angle changes you can see the same bazooka carrying marine lie down in the same position he lay down in seconds earlier.
Factual error: During the "Vietnam Scene" at the beginning you see a very long take of an AK47 muzzle appearing slowly from a bush.The problem is, it has the slopping muzzle brake of the AKM, not the plain muzzle of an AK47. The AKM was not in service in 1968, and was never supplied to North Vietnam anyway.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where the man (played by Bruce Greenwood) is flicking through the different newspapers while in the White House (after the big shooting), the dates on the newspapers clearly say 1999. However, the movie is actually set in 1996.
Factual error: When Samuel L. Jackson stopped to salute the lowering of the flag, the first song of the Retreat Ceremony (Retreat) was playing. On real military bases, the flag stays in place during the first song while all military members are required to stand at Attention (unless they are in formation; which the person in charge will give the command of Parade Rest) and at the playing of the second song (To The Colors) the flag is lowered and they are required to salute.
Continuity mistake: In the bar scene Samuel L. Jackson presents Tommy Lee Jones with a case with the Mameluke sword and Lee's medals in it. There is a Silver Star in the case, but Tommy Lee Jones is not wearing one. Tommy Lee Jones is wearing a Defense Distiguished Service Medal, which is not in the case. The medals do look very similar though.
Factual error: Look at the dress uniforms they wear after the battle scene. They are Marines in their dress green uniform but it looks like the Army dress greens. Marines wear their rank and stripes on the sleeves in red.
Factual error: When the helicopters lift off the flight deck of the USS Wake Island. You see they are aboard LHA 1. This ship is the USS Tarawa. There is no LHA class ship named USS Wake Island.
Other mistake: After the marines have fired at the crowd you get a passing shot of the dead women and children. As the shot passes a young dead girl you can see her hand is twitching from a buzzing fly.
Plot hole: After the marines fire into the crowd and things die down, Jackson tells his men to stay down because of possible snipers. Yet he is standing upright the whole time. Not the best tactical move. One sniper and the mission loses its commanding officer.