Best sci-fi movie mistakes of all time

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V: The Final Battle picture

Factual error: When the world is celebrating the defeat of the visitors, it's daytime all over the planet.

K.C. Sierra

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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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X-Men 3 picture X-Men 3 mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Magneto lands the Golden Gate Bridge on the island, as it hits land it is still very light. When the Brotherhood start to walk toward the island, it cuts to a wide shot of them still walking on the bridge, and it's suddenly dark.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire picture

Continuity mistake: In the beginning scenes, where Milo Thatch is practising his proposal, he slides over (face forward, chest against the board) a chalk drawing of a map detailing the location of Atlantis. When he realises he wiped off the drawing, and sees it on his clothes, he stands in front of the blank part of the chalkboard, "filling in" the space with the map that rubbed off on his shirt - the only problem is, that the image should have rubbed off backwards as he was facing the board when it transferred to his clothes. He could not simply stand in the place of the missing map face forward and have it read properly.

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Back to the Future picture

Continuity mistake: When Biff and his goon friends are in Biff's car, as they chase Marty on his borrowed 'skateboard', the car's rearview mirror repeatedly disappears and reappears, and the side mirror changes from round to square repeatedly. (01:06:50)

Super Grover Premium member

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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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Black Panther picture

Continuity mistake: When Klaue is being rescued by Erik, the amount of blood from his face wound changes between shots.

oswal13

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Spider-Man 2 picture

Plot hole: Harry tells Doc Ock that in order to find Spider-Man he must find Peter first. Doc Ock finds Peter with Mary Jane in the cafe and throws a car through the window straight at them, then later throws Peter against a brick wall. Any normal person would've been killed instantly (or very badly injured), and Doc Ock doesn't yet know that Peter is Spider-Man. Given that Peter is his only lead on Spider-Man, it makes no sense that Doc Ock would try to kill him.

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Suggested correction: Doc Ock is being controlled by the arms. They aren't behaving rationally.

Creating a series of silly explanations for obvious plot holes never resolves them. These arms were not behaving irrationally. In many scenes they were shown to be very intelligent. A good example is the scene where they attack doctors who try to remove them from Doc Ock's body. Saying that they weren't behaving rationally is absurd.

He may not have been trying to kill Peter, he could've been trying to make more of a scene of his entry, so Peter would take him more seriously and tell him where Spider-Man was. He could've been thinking of it as a risk of killing Peter though, but his arms made him go crazy.

This is only a theory. Theories never resolve mistakes.

It's not a theory. When Otto is first giving his demonstration to everybody at his apartment, a woman asks if the advanced AI for the tentacles would make him susceptible to being controlled. Otto says that yes it would so he shows everybody the inhibitor chip that he designed so he would not fall under its control. After the inhibitor chip gets destroyed, it's seen that the tentacles have not only taken control of his mind by forcing him to commit crimes, but have slowly driven him insane.

This scene is much too confusing for many people. This entry is correct. This is a mistake.

If these tentacles wanted him to finish the experiment then they wouldn't make him kill the person who has valuable information for him.

The arms are influencing his thoughts but not controlling every part of him. Doc Ock still seems to have control when defending himself but they seem to work in tandem with Ock. The only time they work on their own is when he under anesthetic. As we don't see him before he throws the car, we can only speculate the arms were trying to hurt Peter by themselves.

Lummie Premium member

It's a cool scene regardless man.

Rob245

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Spider-Man: Homecoming picture

Factual error: When the bus is shown entering Washington, DC for the competition, the shot shows the bus traveling over the Arlington Memorial Bridge with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. That bridge is on the southwest side of the city. Since NYC is to the northeast of DC, this means that to get to that bridge and enter DC that way, the bus had to drive all the way around the city and then come back in from the opposite direction. Even if the bus driver made a mistake and missed the most direct route into the city from the north, there are dozens of other ways to get to the heart of the city without adding a good 45 minutes to an hour to the trip.

Guy

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Robocop picture

Continuity mistake: Dick Jones brags (admits?) to Robocop, "I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake. Now, it's time to erase that mistake" while Robocop is crouched on the ground, not only looking away from him from across the room, but also Robocop's eyes are in a vertical position. In the playback, Jones is facing the camera as though it were videotaped or filmed in a studio. (01:10:50 - 01:35:10)

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Iron Man 2 picture

Other mistake: When Tony goes to the bathroom and scans his blood toxicity, the Tony who faces the camera is supposed to be his reflection in the mirror, but oddly the problem is the reflection is not actually reversed. And note how he scanned his right hand's finger, but then he's sucking on his left hand's pricked finger. (00:28:30)

Super Grover Premium member

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Godzilla picture

Factual error: In the cardiac resuscitation scene with Brian Cranston, someone says "he's in atrial fibrillation... Give him 1 milligram of epinephrine." Wrong drug, in fact one that would very likely kill him immediately (maybe that's why he didn't make it!).

Terry Fotre

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Time Bandits picture

Factual error: When the Titanic sinks all six dwarves and Kevin end up in the sea clutching a lifebelt. The water in which the Titanic sank was freezing - that is how most of the casualties died, by freezing, not drowning. In water like that you'd be lucky to stay conscious for more than a few minutes. Despite this none of them show the slightest effect of the cold. Maybe the dwarves have some 'magical' ability to withstand lethal cold, but Kevin doesn't even react to being plunged into freezing cold water. He'd be screaming in pain, but he doesn't even show the slightest sign of discomfort.

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Sonic the Hedgehog picture

Continuity mistake: When Sonic and Tails are fighting metal Robotnik, he shoots glue at Tail's tail. Tails says he can't fly to help Sonic, but when he gets the piece of concrete to surf across the water on you can see that his tails are not glued together.

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The Martian picture

Factual error: After Watney patches the blow out of one of the HAB's airlocks with plastic sheeting, tie down straps, and duct tape, he pressurizes the HAB and the plastic sheeting pushes out like an inflated balloon. Assuming the plastic and duct tape would hold this is correct, however the plastic would be much more taut given the pressure difference inside and outside.

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Suggested correction: The plastic would certainly be flexing in and out because of the pressure of the wind gusts during the storm. We saw earlier that the gusts of the storms were strong enough to blow a suited explorer off their feet and push them across the surface. Let's say that the HAB is pressurized as much as it can be without blowing out of the plastic, tape, and bungees sealing the airlock. A storm gust would still be able to push the flexible plastic in momentarily, and it would pop back out after the gust passed.

The movie took liberties with the physics of Mars. The gusts on Mars wouldn't be able to blow over a person or a spaceship, let alone push them across the surface, but they needed it for the plot. But using the same physics they then have wedded themselves to, it could then be strong enough to cause the plastic to flap, even though in real life it wouldn't. This is more of a deliberate mistake than a factual error since the writers certainly knew what they did didn't match reality.

Except they didn't 'wed' themselves to their fictional physics. Towards the end of the film NASA tells Watney that a flimsy plastic covering on his ascent vehicle will not be dislodged on acceleration to Martian escape velocity because the atmosphere is too thin to cause any problems. That's cheating in anyone's books.

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Starship Troopers 3: Marauder picture

Continuity mistake: When Hauser picks up the Admiral, after the Brain Bug attacks them, she has no yellow alien blood on her as she's being pulled up, but when the shot changes, as she's standing up, she now has blood on her face and uniform.

GalahadFairlight

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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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