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Audio problem: In the first scene, Liz and Martin are driven in a taxi from the airport. The driver is on his mobile phone. The subtitles say that he is speaking German, however in fact he is speaking Turkish.

swordfish

Factual error: Jurgen takes the cyanide out of a coffee tin. He mentions he has had it for years since his time in the Stasi. However, in fact potassium reacts with carbon dioxide to form a harmless compound over time: to prevent this it must be sealed in an airtight container, which a coffee tin most certainly is not.

swordfish

Character mistake: The private detective tells Liam Neeson he believes his story, incredible as it is, because as a former Stasi agent, they could spot an innocent man, because an innocent man always stuck to his version of truth while a liar reformulated his ideas. However, in fact the Stasi taught exactly the opposite idea: for them, a liar has invented a pre-programmed version of the facts and cannot change it, while someone innocent can change his speech.

swordfish

Plot hole: After January Jones has just told Liam Neeson she doesn't recognise him. Neeson is trying to persuade Herr Strauss and two cops that he really is Dr Martin Harris of Langmore University, and suggests they look for a photo of him online. However, the cop using the computer says that it could take him ages to find a photo of Dr Martin Harris, as "there are more than 40 000 in the USA." This is very true, but as Neeson has already told him not only his name but also his place of work (Langmore university) in reality the cop would have found the photo far more quickly.

swordfish

Factual error: Liam Neeson is holding a Rolex Deepsea marked "EH to MH 7.18.06." The watch was released in 2008.

Continuity mistake: The password needed to access Leo Bressler's hard drive, Umbellularia californica, is visible in the book. In the next shot 'umbellularia' is incorrectly typed into the password box as 'umbellurlaria', yet it gains access to the drive.

Continuity mistake: In the scene when Liam Neeson wakes up from unconsciousness following his car accident, the nurse writes something on her notepad with her right hand, but in the next shot the pen has suddenly switched to her left hand as she puts it into her pocket.

Character mistake: When the EMTs are resuscitating Dr. Harris, they use a defibrillator despite their being on a wet metal dock. Not only is this highly dangerous to absolutely everyone present, it would be completely ineffective at restarting his heart as the water and the metal would dissipate the electric current too much for it to do any good. At the very least, they would have stabilized his spine then moved him to a dry surface before beginning defibrillation.

Phixius

Continuity mistake: When the nurse is giving Liam Nelson the address of the investigator, in one shot she's writing the note with her left hand, and in the next shot, she has the pen in her right hand.

Factual error: In the last scene the ICE Train is leaving the station eastbound. It is not possible to enter these trains at the central station because all eastbound trains end in Berlin and have only one station left (Berlin Ostbahnhof). Every ICE leaving Berlin is going in the other (westbound) direction.

Plot hole: The Aldon Hotel is seriously damaged by the explosion including scenes in the lobby and ground floor as the principal characters are escaping. Yet, a press conference is held in the same hotel just days later announcing the scientific breakthrough.

bnemirow

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Quotes

Ernst Jürgen: In the Stasi, we had a basic principle: ask enough questions and a man who is lying will eventually change his story. But the man who tells the truth cannot change his, however unlikely his story sounds.

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Trivia

Throughout the movie if you look in the background at the various graffiti tags, one in particular stands out. Look for the tag OZ. In almost every scene that has graffiti on the walls you 'll see it somewhere in the background, sometimes more than once. Although it is common for graffiti artists to leave multiple marks in multiple areas, Berlin is a big city and it can be spotted too often for it to be coincidence.

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