Best drama movie plot holes of all time

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The Day of the Jackal picture

Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunman was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured, and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime, and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.

PEDAUNT

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Hollow Man picture

Plot hole: There must be a lot of dumb scientists in Sebastian's lab. While defibrillating the invisible gorilla, (s)he becomes completely visible for a moment. However, not once do the scientists consider that applying a mild electrical shock to the system renders the invisible animal visible again - that electricity may be the key to the whole invisibility problem. They don't even comment upon the fact that the gorilla does become visible.

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Evil Under the Sun picture

Plot hole: Patrick Redfern needs someone to be in the boat with him to corroborate his and his wife's deception and be his alibi. That is whole point of his wife lying on beach - he gets this when taking Myra for a ride - but it was portrayed as a random ride she got, he did not intend or plan giving her a ride, he did not see her loitering near the boat, or even in view of him untying the boat. Even if that was intention in the story for him to be seen ready to cast off, the movie viewers did not see her viewing him, only her appearing just before he was set to cast off. Without someone with him the whole deception would not work, he would have no alibi, he could have killed Arlena unseen.

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Guns of Navarone picture

Plot hole: Maria describes in lurid detail how Anna was arrested by the Germans and tortured by being severely whipped, leaving her with gruesome scars all over her back. She also says that Anna hasn't spoken a word to anyone since she escaped from captivity. How, then, does Maria (or anyone else) know about the scars? Nobody saw them (they don't exist) and Anna obviously didn't tell anyone about them.

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Suggested correction: She is probably able to write.

This correction is too speculative and offers no in-film evidence or further proof.

Bishop73

Anna was a school teacher.

Wasn't she a school teacher? So probably could write.

If she "wrote" about the scars wouldn't someone want to see them, perhaps get her to a doctor? Making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them.

Your assuming a lot like when the Germans release here. She could have "recovered" and had a fit anytime anyone touched her.

As was noted above, making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them. You cannot 'recover' from scars. It is ridiculous to think that nobody ever thought to get Anna to a doctor for treatment.

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Broadcast News picture

Plot hole: How could Jane not be aware that Tom had only used one camera for the date rape interview, recording his fake tears later? That's the way things are done on television news shows and as an experienced, hard-bitten television producer she could not possibly be unaware of that. The reporter always records his or her reaction shots (called 'noddies') after the interviewee has left. Shooting with two cameras would involve two crews, two lighting rigs, a vision switcher and so on and so on and a straightforward interview simply would not justify such a complex and expensive set up.

PEDAUNT

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Planet of the Apes picture

Plot hole: The "video history" of the crashed USAF ship makes it very clear that the planet is uninhabited when they "landed". I can understand how a race of apes develops - they had a bunch of them on board. I can understand how a race of humans develops - they are descendants of the original crew. What I don't understand is...where the heck did all the horses come from?

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Suggested correction: Humans refer to parts of their own planet as uninhabited even though even though they are crawling with animals - vast areas of the Arctic are "uninhabited" even though polar bears and seals are found there. Were we to find a planet with nothing but primitive horses on it, we would label it as uninhabited. Apes and humans came from the crashed spaceship, horses were always there.

I agree with you Charles. Horses are native to Earth but, the Oberon lands on a planet light years from Earth so it's a big plot hole how horses from one planet could end up on another when the planet was not only uninhabited but, the Oberon was believed to be lost.

Again, the Oberon was a massive space station, genetically experimenting with many earthly lifeforms, including horses, apparently. The time/space-rift was very near Earth (Mark Wahlberg made the journey in about 25 seconds at the end of the film. Not years but seconds). The implication is that the Oberon passed through the rift, and much of the crew survived to continue their genetic research on what later became the Ape Planet. So, the Oberon initially arrived on a barren planet and introduced all of the biological and botanical species, including apes, horses, and everything else.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: According to the backstory, the space station Oberon was dedicated to genetic modification sciences. They were actually experimenting with animal genes in the safety of space (which kind of makes sense). Given that the Oberon was a truly gigantic space station, it's not too much of a speculation that they were experimenting on many different types of animals (not just apes). When the Oberon crashed on Ashlar, half its crew was killed, but half survived with a number of ship's systems still functional, and they continued their genetic research, possibly producing a number of Earthly species on the otherwise uninhabited planet.

Charles Austin Miller

That's just a wild guess. There hasn't been a single mention of horses on board the Oberon. Even if there were, why only horses?

lionhead

Wild guess? The Oberon was experimenting in genetic modification, which implies a broad range of research...and not just on great apes. The Oberon was gigantic enough to be an Ark.

Charles Austin Miller

So where are all the other animals?

lionhead

Exactly. Where are the birds, lions, lizards, etc?

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Flight of the Phoenix picture

Plot hole: This film is set in 2004. The thought that no search and rescue operations would be put in place after an aircraft disappeared from radar during a routine flight is absurd. The Chinese are paranoid about intrusion on their territory and the downed aircraft would have been located by a simple satellite search within hours of it crashing. Chinese military satellites crisscross the Gobi and they are equipped with optical cameras, microwave and infrared detectors and radar, so spotting a metal aircraft on the ground would be simple even if it was hundreds of kilometres off course. The crew would have been visited by Chinese military helicopters (and probably arrested!) as soon as the storm had died down.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: The Chinese government, for whatever reason, may have denied there was any crash at all if it suited their purposes, and the oil company that owned the plane would have little recourse. The Chinese have done this before. For the purpose of the plot, the survivors decided that they had to save themselves rather than wait for rescue and that was completely plausible.

Suggested correction: It's now 2021, and we still can't find Malaysian Airlines MH370. So this suggestion of planes always being found is laughable.

stiiggy

MH370 crashed into the ocean, and in fact some wreckage has been found. The Chinese military does not have the south Indian Ocean under satellite surveillance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unlike the Gobi desert where a crashed plane would be spotted within hours of it going missing.

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Capricorn One picture

Plot hole: The "death" of the three astronauts and the requirement to then fake the whole scenario of the failed mission was obviously unplanned - it came about because of an unexpected computer glitch which reported that they had burned up on reentry, causing a mad scramble to cover up the fake mission and kill the astronauts. Obviously it was planned to have the astronauts "return" to Earth as heroes after their supposed trip to Mars, maintaining their deception (under threat if necessary) for the rest of their lives. One problem. Every scientist on earth would be champing at the bit to get their hands on a sample of Martian rock. Samples would be worth billions, worth far more than Moon rocks are worth today. How was NASA going to explain they didn't have any? They could not possibly fake the rocks - Martian soil and rocks would have a number of identifiable characteristics that a smart first year college student could identify. Using Martian meteorites collected from the Earth's surface won't work, either - prolonged exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would leave tell tale weathering and chemical changes that would be instantly detectable. NASA have painted themselves into a corner and that is not something they would have failed to realise well in advance.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: They could use meteors that had landed on Earth. This is one of the theories for the "faked" moon landing, that they either created the moon rocks from scratch, or collected meteors. As for the death of the astronauts, that's not a plot hole, it's the plot of the movie; the powers that be wanted the men to fake everything and return as heroes. When they wouldn't play along, it was decided they needed to be eliminated.

It is clear from the narrative of the film that it was planned that the astronauts would "land" safely. Using meteorites would not work - exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would mean (and has meant) that the rocks would show weathering and chemical changes that anyone would be able to detect.

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Law Abiding Citizen picture

Plot hole: Inmediately after Jamie Foxx finds the bomb in the city hall, and he says, "We don't tell the mayor anything", we see Gerard Butler arriving to his property next to the prison, and finally he enters his jail cell. So, in the time between Gerard Butler's arrival to the property and his entrance to the jail cell, Jamie Foxx thought about a plan, picked up the bomb, passed through the traffic and security checkpoints, talked to the warden to get access to the prison, entered solitary, handcuffed the bomb, and still had time to wait for Gerard Butler's arrival.

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2012 picture

Plot hole: During the later parts of this movie there is much talk about 'continental displacement' and this appears to be happening in the film. The Earth's crust is falling apart because of the heating of the inner core, and all the cities seems to be falling apart since the ground can no longer hold them. When our cast finds themselves surprised to be already over China when they figured to be over the ocean, it is explained that Asia has actually moved from where it was. If this phenomenon is taking place globally, how come the monks in China don't seem to have been disturbed at all? In fact the bell the monk rings as the ocean approaches hasn't even been shaken. The arks are built in between the mountains, but the mountains are apparently fine. Shouldn't they be falling like the rest of the crust?

polaris

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Body Heat picture

Plot hole: Considering the incredibly elaborate plans Maddy makes to have her husband murdered after forging a will she knows is invalid so he dies intestate and she - as his widow - gets his entire fortune, you'd think she would have worked out one little fact - Edmund Walker does not die intestate. It is established in the film that the dud will supposedly written by Ned Racine replaces a previous, valid will which bequeaths half his fortune to his niece Heather. When the new will is declared invalid under Florida law the previous will takes precedence and Heather and Maddy split the fortune. In no way will Maddy get the lot.

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The Cell picture

Plot hole: Peter goes into Carl's mind to save Catherine. When he's in there he sees the tank with the water nymph. On the tank are strange symbols which provide the FBI with the clue needed to find the latest victim. Makes sense so far. But, go back to the scene just after the FBI have captured the comatose killer and are looking in his basement. The FBI are looking at the contraption that the killer uses to suspend himself over the victim. On the contraption is the same symbol seen later on the water nymph's tank. Why didn't the FBI follow up the symbol then?

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Inside Man picture

Plot hole: When Clive the mastermind blacks out the cameras, the detectives say later that there was a blackout period of only a couple of minutes with no footage of anyone entering or leaving. That means the from the footage just before the robbery you could ascertain who was in the bank and who are the robbers, or if nothing else narrow down the pool, simply by eliminating anyone in the bank already. (00:05:00 - 00:28:00)

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Suggested correction: That is assuming that the bank robbers didn't have anyone inside the bank already, which they did. There were only four people in the van at the start, and also four at the very end in the car while they're waiting for Clive Owen, making him the fifth.

Friso94

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Skyscraper picture Video

Plot hole: The entire plot hinges on the villain's gang obtaining the tablet that allows admin access to the building's systems. However, it can only be unlocked via facial recognition and it is keyed only to Will Sawyer's face. In fact, when they finally do get it, Xia unlocks it by holding it up to Sawyer's face. So what was the point of trying to steal the backpack containing the tablet? Without Will to unlock it, the tablet is useless.

wizard_of_gore

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The Fly picture

Plot hole: In any given volume of air, there are any number of tiny, living organisms; dust mites, viruses, bacteria, etc. Why did the teleporter combine Seth's DNA only with the fly that was in the chamber? If he had taken the "floating organisms" into account in his calculations and programming, then why would he not have excluded ALL foreign DNA?

wizard_of_gore Premium member

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Double Jeopardy picture

Plot hole: For a convicted murderer who violated her parole and assaulted her parole officer while escaping custody, Ashley Judd moves around the country and even boards airplanes with little to no problems.

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Suggested correction: She was simply careful. There's constant manhunts for much more serious felons and parolees on the lam who seem capable of moving around without getting caught.

How did she keep the gun if she flew across the country?

She likely put the gun in her bag and then checked it with other passengers' luggage at the airport. As long as she wasn't carrying the gun on her, it would go through.

raywest Premium member

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Edward Scissorhands picture

Plot hole: At the end of the film, we see Edward carving ice sculptures in his mansion. How did he get the ice up there? First of all, it takes place in a warm climate and I didn't see a freezer up there in the castle. He couldn't have gotten ice from town because firstly he had scissors for hands and couldn't have gripped the ice. And, even if by some miracle he could, he wouldn't be able to buy any from town because everyone in town but Kim was convinced that Edward was dead, she told everyone that they killed each other. And Kim didn't bring it to him because she told her granddaughter in the end that she never saw him again after that night. So where did he get that ice?

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Kiss the Girls picture

Plot hole: In the scene where Ashley Judd runs away from her attacker and falls into her aquarium he has moved to the bottom of the stairs - there is no way he would have been able to move that full fish tank. It looked to be about a 30 gallon tank - it would weigh about 400 pounds with the stand and even if he slid it with some superhuman strength, glass tanks are notorious for shattering when you move them full. Plus it would've made enough noise to wake the dead - no way she wouldn't have heard it.

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Jeepers Creepers picture

Plot hole: Near the end of the film, Trish, Darry and Jezelle have a problem trying to escape from the police station, due to the power being cut. But when the beast flies off with Darry, Trish is outside within seconds despite her starting from the second floor.

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Indecent Proposal picture

Plot hole: At the end of the film Woody shows what a nice chap he is by spending the 'tainted' million dollars at a charity auction. He's just made his problems much worse - he paid his solicitor a large fee to arrange the deal, so he hasn't got a million in the bank. That cheque is going to bounce so fast it will crack the plaster on the roof of the bank, and bouncing a million dollar cheque is a serious criminal offence in the US. (There is no way enough interest could have built up to cover the difference, either).

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