Best sci-fi movie plot holes of all time

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Doomsday picture

Plot hole: Rhona Mitra is told she can't fly into Scotland because it's a "no fly zone." But it's all part of the UK, and she's being sent in as part of a UK government operation. The only group enforcing the no fly zone would be the UK government, so they could send her in via whatever means they like.

Jon Sandys Premium member

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Future War picture

Plot hole: When Ann and Runaway are fleeing from the dinosaurs in the car, suddenly a fence flaps into the screen and blocks the ways of the running dinosaur. This makes no sense and is never explained, since none of Ann's friends or anybody else is anywhere around there to manage this, nor is the fence ever mentioned, nor is there any other (reasonable) reason that the fence would block the way exactly in this moment.

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Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero picture

Plot hole: Batman finds at Belson's home a handwritten list of substances needed for a transplant. Why would Belson, a medical authority in the field that knows those things thoroughly, even write a list down? If it's for Freeze to procure him the material, why would it be at his house and not with him, and when did he even have time to be at home to do that, since he has been kidnapped by Freeze when he was driving on the outskirts of Gotham and taken to the oil rig? If he had time to go home, he at least would have changed clothes, he's still in the tuxedo he wore when he was kidnapped the night before.

Sammo Premium member

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind picture

Plot hole: The aliens provide coordinates for a place to make a rendezvous with humans but do not specify a time. It's possible they're monitoring and will arrive when they see enough humans gathering at Devil's Tower, but the humans seem to expect the aliens to come more or less exactly when they actually do, somehow.

TonyPH Premium member

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Suggested correction: Scientists were prepared for the aliens and knew when and where they would arrive, as seen by the extensive complex built at Devil's Tower. However, as Claude Lacombe, the French scientist, speculates towards the end, hundreds of humans may have had the Devil's Tower image recently implanted in their minds, saying they were "invited" but never made the connection. Neery figured it out and was compelled to go there at that time. Neery was then allowed to join a group of trained volunteers that were already prepared to go on the ship, while the previous "abductees" were being returned to Earth.

raywest Premium member

The aliens had not given a time to meet. The scientists may be taking it on faith that the aliens will know that they've arrived at Devil's Tower and are ready, but the way the subject of timing is left unaddressed on screen feels like an oversight.

TonyPH Premium member

We don't know for certain if the scientists were given a specific time, but it appears they were, or at least a general window. The long-lost objects, like the ship and the military aircraft, suddenly showing up in the desert, is an indication the process has started. If humans were given the precise location where the alien ship would arrive (Devil's Tower), then, logically, the aliens would also communicate when. The scientists were communicating with the aliens using tonal sounds. Early on, the scientists received map coordinates through dish satellites as repeating pulses. They would likely receive time information the same way. As often happens in movies, this info may be something that got edited out of the film, causing an inconsistency.

raywest Premium member

This might be one of those edge cases. Under most circumstances I'd agree we could assume arrangements were made off-screen by virtue of the fact that the rendezvous occurs successfully in the first place; but in the context of this movie, in which any and all forms of contact with the aliens is treated as profound and significant, leaving it unaddressed (not even with a line of dialogue) comes off like a plot hole. I suppose we'll just have to let our fellow website readers decide.

TonyPH Premium member

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Altered States picture

Plot hole: In the last tank experience, the ones watching are looking at a morphing of Dr Jessup's face. Problem is: There's no camera in the tank.


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World War Z picture

Plot hole: The same zombie who can smell through a vault that Gerry is not worth a bite, just minutes before couldn't smell the presence of three alive humans two meters apart.

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G.I. Joe: The Movie picture

Plot hole: After being hit with the spores, Cobra Commander cannot walk or even move very well with any speed at all. The Cobra minions have to drag him to their prison with the Joes and just leave him there on the ground after the Joes make a break for it. The Joes go quite a distance to engage Cobra. Road Block is delayed only a couple seconds behind the other Joes when he is grabbed, but knocks out the minion who grabbed him. Suddenly, Cobra Commander is at his feet telling him to wait because it's a trap. Later, Road Block has to carry Cobra Commander because he still can't move much. There's no way Cobra Commander could have caught up with Road Block to warn him of the trap. (00:52:50)

Quantom X Premium member

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Pitch Black picture

Plot hole: How did Carolyn Fry get out of the cave in the canyon to confront Riddick at the Skiff? Riddick strained to roll the rock into the cave entrance, and he was a big, strong man from a position of good leverage. How did Carolyn and the other two push the rock out of the way so that Carolyn could get out? And, then, how did Carolyn mange to push the rock back into place? It was still there when she and Riddick came back from the Skiff to bring back the other two.

Edwin Frydendall

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Iron Man: Rise of Technovore picture

Plot hole: Nick Fury wants to detain Tony as he is the only witness. Tony takes off and Nick Fury even says to apprehend him so their only witness isn't killed. Yet when the S.H.I.E.L.D. robots confront Tony at Pepper's vacation spot, they say they are authorized to use deadly force against Tony. And Nick Fury even orders them to fire when Tony resists. If they need Tony to keep their only witness alive, why try to kill him when he doesn't cooperate? (00:31:05)

Quantom X Premium member

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JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time picture

Plot hole: Once Time Trapper has been stopped by Dawnstar and the time vortex in the sky stops sucking things up, everything in the air just hovers unmoving completely. Except for the people. Somehow Batman and Robin and Superman are able to move around just fine in the same time and gravity frozen place, Robin even jumps from hovering rock to rock without them moving. In fact, as soon as the sucking stops, the tree that Karate Kid is hanging onto stops moving and does not fall, but gravity somehow instantly affects Karate Kid and he almost falls off the tree and has to catch on again. It makes no sense at all for the objects to be affected and stand still and the heroes to not be.

Quantom X Premium member

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Power Rangers picture

Plot hole: After Rita kills Billy, why didn't any of the other rangers do something to help him? They could have very easily done CPR on him or at least called for an ambulance.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: They may have not been in range with cellphone towers to get a good enough signal. Also, they had superpowers including super strength so doing CPR on Billy would have been very dangerous and would have probably hurt him even more.

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Escape from Planet Earth picture

Plot hole: Gerry's wife uses a rocket boot to break through a window and then slides down a curved wall to get to their son. She does so gracefully and takes off running. Gerry slides and takes a hard tumble and rolls down, landing on the ground. The next shot shows Gerry running behind his wife and not too far away as they reach their son. Even if it was to show a little time passing, there was not enough distance between where they broke the window and their son for Gerry to have picked himself up and catch up to his wife before reaching their son, especially with his wife being a worried mom doing a full on sprint to her kid.

Quantom X Premium member

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Universal Soldier picture

Plot hole: When Luc and Veronica escape from the motel, they pass by an old lady reading a newspaper. Given that 4 soldiers have been bombing the place for the last 10 minutes it is totally idiotic to think that the old lady would be calmly sitting in the middle of the chaos.

Sacha Premium member

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Battle Beyond the Stars picture

Plot hole: Nell the ship made a statement early on in the movie that the Nuclear bombs that Sador was firing at her could not be destroyed, the only defense was to outrun them. Soon after Cayman dies, Sador fires Nuclear bombs at Shad and Nell, and Shad is able to destroy them by firing on them.


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Mortal Engines picture

Plot hole: There is no way Anna could know that Hester was going to be at the auction. The circumstances that led to Hester and Tom being captured can't possibly have spread to the Anti-Traction League, they were immediately taken to the slave auction after being captured. Anna also instantly recognizes Hester when she sees her despite the fact that Hester was 8 years old the last time she would have seen her.


Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Anna might have very well just been there to do anti-tractionist things, it was an auction made of towns after all a prime target to hit many options at once or hide bombs on for a bigger city to gobble up and go off later. Once she saw Hester her plans simply changed. As for how she recognized her, it is possible Anna had been tracking / keeping an eye on her. It wouldn't be impossible to ask around for a scar faced girl moving from town to town and might have gotten a pic somewhere.

These are all wild guesses that aren't confirmed by the film itself. They do not qualify as corrections.


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Dinotopia picture

Plot hole: Although the errand bird always insists on the postage and even asks for additional fees for more than twenty words, he never gets any payment from the assigning characters.

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Frankenweenie picture

Plot hole: When we first see the reanimated Sparky, his head's sewed on. While that makes him look a bit like the traditional Frankenstein monster, it doesn't make a lot of sense - the original monster had stitches on its neck because it was made from multiple body parts, but it's not like they sawed the dog's head off after it died...

Jon Sandys Premium member

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Do we ever see how much damage the car did?


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Starship Troopers picture

Plot hole: A Bug meteor knocks out the Roger Young's communications. She dodged it at sublight maneuvering speeds, indicating that it is moving fairly slowly. If it is so important that she warn Earth it's coming (which is how we know their comm was damaged), why doesn't she jump back to tell them or destroy it herself? Even if she has no capital ship weapons (she is a troop carrier), there is no indication that her faster jump drive is damaged or needs longer than they have to warn Earth to charge for a jump, or that she can't leave her patrol station, etc.

Grumpy Scot

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Planet of the Apes picture

Plot hole: Wouldn't Taylor have suspected he was still on Earth, seeing as all the apes were speaking English?

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Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man picture

Plot hole: At the bar shootout where everyone except Marlboro and Harley are murdered, the two jump through the window, over the fence, into the airport, and into an airplane luggage compartment. They would have been caught by security. The missing, and dead, airport worker would have been missed and searched for, the gunfire would have attracted attention, and the police would have been called. They never would have left the airport.


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