Factual error: Near the end of the film Knox is flying a Huey helicopter and the Angels hitch a ride by shooting it with a spear gun and dangling on the line behind it. Suddenly adding about 200kgs to a Huey in flight like that is going to cause all sorts of problems with the trim and airspeed of the aircraft - the pilot would know immediately that something was wrong. (01:23:20)
Factual error: It is not possible to be "allergic to all known anaesthetics". Amongst the amide local anesthetics lidocaine, prilocaine, bupivicaine, mepivacaine and dibucaine are naturally occurring substances and if administered without a preservative they cannot trigger an allergic reaction. If Bales is allergic to them, he'd be allergic to the metabolic processes of his own body. They are all powerful local anaesthetics and could easily be used for a radical rhinoplasty such as that required by Bales.
Factual error: The criminologist describes the events of the movie as taking place "on a late November evening". In the very next scene, Brad and Janet are driving in Brad's car, and President Richard Nixon's resignation speech is playing on the radio. Nixon resigned in August of 1974. (00:12:00)
Factual error: While Bridger is watching the film of the Mafia boss following Beckerman he signals for the film to be stopped so he can look at the close up shot of the man. He is watching a 16mm film shown through a bog standard projector - stop a film like that for more than two seconds without closing down the projector shutter (this doesn't happen - if it did the screen would darken instantly) and it will melt and catch fire. This doesn't happen.
Factual error: At the very end of the film Bruce is reporting on a drive for blood donors, and Grace leads him over to the booth to give blood himself - he is even wearing a tourniquet. However, he is supporting himself on a walking stick - he is not fully recovered from the injuries he received when he was run over, which happened when he was hit by a moving car - injuries which left him clinically dead. There is absolutely no way that a person who has suffered life threatening injuries and has undergone the (inevitably) intensive drug therapies and surgical procedures involved while under treatment in hospital in the fairly recent past would be allowed to give blood. There is no way that the Red Cross (or the US equivalent) would want to encourage people who have recently been hospitalised to try to give blood. Not only would that be the height of irresponsibility, they would be wasting precious resources and staff time turning away people who would not be allowed to give blood.
Factual error: When Amy is fired from S'Nuff magazine she takes her story on Aaron Connors to Vanity Fair, who run with it. That is not going to happen. Amy wrote the article while a paid employee of S'Nuff magazine and that means the copyright in the article (and, very relevant to this issue, the photographs of Aaron they paid to have taken), resides with them, not with her. It isn't hers to sell. No magazine editor of any standing is going to buy an unsolicited article without checking its provenance backwards and forwards, and that would mean checking with Amy's previous employers - after all, what would happen if they changed their minds and ran the story themselves?
Factual error: During the war games they have Jefferson pose as a major in order to facilitate the commandeering of the ambulance and the jeep. Regardless of their personal feelings in the matter the ambulance crew and the driver and troops in the jeep would be perfectly aware that no black man would ever be promoted to a position of authority in an otherwise all white command. We may find it repugnant today but the US Army was rigidly segregated during World War 2 - and it stayed that way until 1948. Jefferson may have been inducted into a special unit like the Dirty Dozen but considering that the future of the entire mission is riding on their success at the games, throwing it all away like that makes no sense at all.
Factual error: Basic physics - Hancock throws Michel from a dead stop to above cloud level in about eleven seconds. The clouds are bog standard cumulus which form at around 7,000 metres in temperate zones. This means that Michel accelerates to about 700 metres per second instantly, from a dead stop. Obviously he cannot accelerate during his ascent, so his starting speed has to be at least that. (In fact he would have to start his ascent much, much faster than 700 metres per second as he would be constantly decelerating due to gravity and air resistance, but it will do as a start point.) Michel accelerates from 0 to 2,520 kilometres per hour - twice the speed of sound - in zero seconds. He would be accelerating at around 5000 Gs, turning him into a very long streak of fine, pink mist.
Factual error: When the fish tank has been cleaned by the newly installed laser fish cleaner, the machine states that the water temperature is '82°.' In Australia the Celsius scale is used; therefore, it should be about '28°.' Australia is 100% metric and has been since 1974! Nobody in Australia - nobody, anywhere, any time since 1974, uses imperial measures. There is absolutely no question of the dentist having an imperial thermometer or expressing himself in° Fahrenheit. It is actually illegal to import or sell any instrument using 'Imperial' scales. You couldn't buy a Fahrenheit thermometer if you tried. (01:14:30)
Factual error: The whole Bowfinger scenario is impossible. They are using a 35mm Panavision cine camera which cannot be focused through the lens; it needs precise measurements on the set in order to be properly in register. Then there are the light readings required to ensure proper exposure. Wouldn't Kit Ramsay notice the man with the light meter, or the one with the tape recorder? Both measurements would have to be done with him or an identically dressed and made up stand-in (a "lighting double") on the spot. Then there is the sound. Any sound recordist worth his salary will have the microphone within centimetres of his subject, and he'll have a boom operator keeping in there. We don't even see a microphone in use! Please don't tell me this is based on the clandestine filming of Mary Pickford during her Russian visit: that was done with old black and white film which has very wide tolerance to exposure and most of all it was silent, and she was aware of the camera crew, she just thought they were news crews. (And the results were rubbish anyway).
Factual error: Then, as now, every recruit reporting to boot camp would be tested for illegal drugs, first by a urine test and then by a broad spectrum blood test in the case of a positive result. There is no reason for Elmo to try to hide his stash when the recruits are told they are to be tested - he is going to come up positive anyway. He may as well just say he has changed his mind and walk away. He is entitled to do that any time up to ten days after he signed on, and it happened a lot in real life!
Factual error: Twice in the movie a Jumbo Jet (a Boeing 747) from Pan Am appears. The movie is set in 1969, when that plane had its maiden journey, but it wasn't flown commercially until 1970.
Factual error: When the barracks are completely flooded, several of the trainees shove shower hoses down the toilets for an "unlimited supply of air" (Merlin describes it as "simple physics"). However, that old fireman's trick is a technique for surviving dense smoke, which is not under fluid pressure. In the barracks flooded 9 feet deep with water, the pressure would be so enormous that it would easily gush straight down the toilets in a powerful torrent, eliminating any "unlimited air supply."