Best sci-fi movie plot holes of all time

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Minority Report picture

Plot hole: Anderton's wife gains entry into the jailhouse using her husband's eyeball - but he's already locked up inside, so his eye would not still have access to enter as it pleased. Any place anywhere that would have any sort of security system requiring anything from a simple passcode to a card key to a retinal scan, would immediately delete the user in such instances from all rights. And would also certainly report on any attempted use of such (retinal scan, pass code, whatever). (02:00:45)

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Suggested correction: I thought that this was a mistake as soon as I saw it on screen, but reconsidered. It's perfectly possible that there was some, probably human caused, delay in updating the security system. After all, there wasn't a rush to do it since they already had the chief on ice. Maybe the sleep jail was still on a legacy system without automatic updating. Just assuming that in the near future that all systems are all perfectly integrated and instantaneous does not validate this as a mistake.

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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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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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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones picture

Plot hole: When Amidala and some of the clone troopers get blown out of the ship chasing Dooku, later the trooper approaches Amidala and asks about making their way back to the front lines, but Amidala says they should go to the hangar to help Obi-Wan and Anakin. How did she know about the hangar, having left the ship quite some time before it arrived at the final destination? (02:05:50)

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Westworld picture

Plot hole: There is a barely credible explanation for the fact that a guest cannot be injured or killed by being shot in Westworld, but what about the vicious fistfight we see in the bar? People are injured or killed in bar brawls all the time, and this one was incredibly violent. How do they prevent guests from being injured or killed by the cutting and stabbing weapons we see in Medieval and Roman World? Guests are supposed to fight each other, not just robots - they cannot be 'programmed' to lose! Delos is going be sued into bankruptcy within a week of the first guest arriving. Quite apart from the legal position, think about the bad publicity! Who is going to pay the huge fees demanded by the parks owners when the media is constantly reporting on the guests who wound up dead or with life changing injuries?

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Suggested correction: The explanation given in the TV show would seem to easily apply to the original film as well: guests can be injured, but not to the point that it would leave a lasting mark. The park has access to futuristic medical techniques, so they can heal most non-life-threatening injuries easily. Also the guests almost certainly sign waivers, so in the event of serious injury the park isn't liable.

Suggested correction: It's easy to nitpick the factual details of "Westworld," the screenplay of which was written on-the-fly on a fairly limited budget, even by early 1970s' standards. Author Michael Crichton (who also wrote "The Andromeda Strain," "The Terminal Man," "Congo," "Sphere," "Jurassic Park" and several other technological thrillers) himself acknowledged that Westworld was more a visual story (like a comic book) than a cerebral piece of science fiction, and he learned on this movie that suspension of disbelief outweighed technical or even factual details, if he wanted to expedite the story in an hour-and-a-half. Crichton said he was having more fun and devoting more time to shooting the film than actually writing it, comparing the experience to playing cowboys and indians as a child. So, yes, Westworld is not much more than an adult fantasy with a number of plot holes that we are supposed to gleefully overlook, rather than analyze.

Charles Austin Miller

Except for blatant continuity mistakes you just invalidated every single entry on this site.

Suggested correction: Westworld ensure that any interactions with the robots are entirely safe for the patrons of the park. They cannot prevent humans fighting amongst themselves, just as Disneyland can't prevent people fighting there. People are also injured or die all the time in horse-riding accidents, but that won't lead to people suing Westworld. Due to the nature of the park, all the guests likely sign a waiver stating that any injuries are not the fault of the park.

Utter rubbish. Guests who were completely innocent bystanders could be killed or injured by the actions of other guests, notably in the bar brawl or by the explosion used in the jailbreak. We see one guest smash a barstool against the back of another guest - not a robot - which could easily have broken his spine. There is no question whatever that the owners and managers of the park would be held liable in this and many other cases, just as amusement park owners and managers nowadays are held liable when roller coasters or other rides go awry, injuring or killing guests.

The most plausible explanation would be a waiver that visitors to the park have to sign. The waiver would explain that while the robots cannot harm humans, other humans can, and the park is not held responsible. In the event of death or serious injury, the guest who caused it would face criminal charges and possibly a civil lawsuit. But a waiver would protect the park. Also, the rules of the park may be similar to those in the HBO Westworld series, where the robots cannot cause a "permanent mark", meaning they can injure guests as long as the injury is repairable.

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Venom picture

Plot hole: At the angle of descent and the speed it was traveling (still burning from reentry even), when the space shuttle crashed in the opening of the film, it would not have left much of anything behind. The kinetic explosion that would have resulted would have downed the forest around it for a good distance leaving a crater, and the clean up crews would have been lucky to find any piece of the ship itself still intact bigger than a football. Much less been able to find any discernible remains of the crew. Yet bodies were being taken out in still relatively good condition. And probably most unbelievable is that the glass containers holding the Symbiotes were not even broken.

Quantom X Premium member

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Suggested correction: Since this is in the Marvel universe the capsule could have at least partially been made of Vibranium or Adamantium.

lionhead

Adamantium is exclusive to the X-Men films which for the time being are under Fox, and Vibranium is exclusive to films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film is part of neither. There were rumors and speculation prior to this film's release that it would be adjunct to the MCU, but there are things within the film that contradict it. Particularly Eddie Brock being dismissive of the symbiote being an alien life form. An alien invasion was one of the major plot points of the first Avengers film, so an alien being wouldn't be something people would be skeptical of going forward.

Phaneron Premium member

Like Phan said. But also, i'm referring to the glass of the container staying in tact. Those two super metals don't make glass.

Quantom X Premium member

I just thought that although there can't be a mention of Vibranium, it doesn't mean it's not there. What I mean is if Vibranium softens the bow of the impact the glass containers would stay intact. But I suppose if it's not allowed to exist for the films, then I guess it doesn't exist. The glass can be nanotechnology though.

lionhead

I see what you're saying, but that wouldn't mater with an impact like that. Space Shuttles are even made of Titanium, and would still be smashed to millions of little pieces from a reentry impact like that. The momentum and resulting kinetic explosion would devastate everything around it and level the forest for a good distance, leaving a massive creator, possibly as big or bigger than a football field. We are talking a few megatons of force.

Quantom X Premium member

This movie is not set in the Marvel Universe. It has been confirmed by the film crew that Venom is a standalone movie so it doesn't take place in the MCU at all.

I didn't say MCU, I said Marvel Universe. Some Marvel Universe anyway.

lionhead

There's only the MCU and since this movie doesn't take place in it, the ship is probably only made from the materials that most rocket ships are constructed from.

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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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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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The Core picture

Plot hole: How do they maintain communication between the ship at the centre of the earth and the surface? There's no wire, and radio waves can only travel any distance without obstacles, and the earth's crust would be a pretty hefty obstacle...

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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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Bumblebee picture

Plot hole: How can Bumblebee and Optimus already have the car specs and colours before they leave Cybertron for the first time to come to earth? Optimus didn't have this when they came to earth in the first Transformers movie.

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Suggested correction: First of all, this might not be the same continuity as the older Transformers films. Second of all, the cars on Cybertron might be Cybertronian vehicles. Optimus scanned the semi in the first film so that he could be a different vehicle than he already was. There is no reason this could not have happened.

I'd like to add that we know for a fact that this is not the same continuity. It is a reboot. See the Wikipedia article.

FleetCommand

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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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Battlefield Earth picture

Plot hole: The facilities at Ft. Hood have working electricity to power the simulators, projectors, etc. even though it's been 1000 years, with no logical reason for the Psychlos to have kept the facility maintained, and the fact that the Psychlos should by rights have leveled the place when they invaded 1000 years before. Even automatic backup generators would have no fuel after 1000 years dormancy except for a nuclear system, which would still have required regular maintenance over a 1000 year interval to maintain automatic functionality.

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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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Jurassic Park III picture

Plot hole: The spinosaurus manages to smash through a metal reinforced wall designed to stop dinosaurs getting past it without too much effort, yet it can't get through a wooden gate secured by some metal bars. It makes no sense.

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Suggested correction: The Spinosaurus used its full body force to smash the fence. The gate, being a smaller target, was too small for the Spinosaurus to use its full body force.

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Spider-Man 3 picture

Plot hole: In this movie Goblin was able to sneak up on Peter. But in the previous movies Peter was able to sense danger from quite a distance away; Green Goblin from a few blocks and the train barricade from over a mile.

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The Running Man picture

Plot hole: In the unedited video footage of the helicopter incident shown to the crowd, the last shot of Arnie getting knocked out is seen from his perspective and as such could never have been filmed by any camera.

Gavin Jackson

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 picture

Plot hole: San Franjose was in California on the Pacific Ocean, Swallow Falls was in the Atlantic Ocean. How did Flint and the gang get back so fast?

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Suggested correction: He built a flying car... with a massive amount of boosters. Why wouldn't he be able to build something else?

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The Time Machine picture

Plot hole: When George stops the machine for the first time, the candle burned down to about half of its size, which took according to his observations 98 minutes. But as the trip continues it takes seven hours for it to burn down completely. (00:25:45)

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Super Mario Bros. picture

Plot hole: After Mario and Luigi have defeated Bowser, Daisy's father and the man in New York re-evolve back to their human forms. This makes no sense as it is never explained, and none of the goombas or Koopa troopas ever revert.

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