Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized steel box vents; they are very common in the building trade. Try walking or crawling down one - you'll make a noise like the sky is falling down. People will be able to hear you for miles. Every person in that building would know somebody crawling about in the vent system. (This error applies to dozens of films, not only this one).
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: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos, a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform. He is also wearing Army Type III Service boots - something that would never have been issued to a fighter pilot.
Factual error: The movie starts in 1985, jumps '5 years later' and then back to Sasha Luss, then '3 years earlier'. So, in her crusty apartment in an impoverished neighbourhood of 1987 Soviet Russia, Anna is filling a form on her notebook-style laptop, too modern for the era. It looks like a NEC UltraLite (considered the first notebook style laptop) which didn't even come out until 1989, let alone the likelihood of someone in the USSR having one.
Factual error: While handling the ignition coil cable to the distributor cap, Joe Pesci tells De Niro that the timing chain needs adjustment in his truck. A truck of that year with an inline Chevy motor would not have a timing chain at all, instead this truck would be equipped with a direct drive timing gear. Even if it had a timing chain, it would be behind the water pump and a cover. It would have been a several hour job to replace, not possible to adjust it.
Factual error: It is impossible for a stream of burning jet fuel to follow a plane through snow and catch up. Not only is jet fuel extremely hard to ignite, almost as soon as the plane was off the ground the fuel stream would be too dispersed for the flame to climb up into the tank, and even if not it wouldn't burn fast enough to catch the plane.
Factual error: The whole basis of the trial and conviction of Cameron Poe is a crock. The judge can not arbitrarily mete out a sentence that is harsher based on the ability of someone to defend him/herself. In justifying the harsher sentence because of Poe's military skills, the judge effectively says that Poe is more guilty than an average person due to his honorable and decorated service in uniform to his country. In my entire time in law school, I never read one out of the literally hundreds of cases I was assigned in which a judge issued a harsher sentence because of someone's innate or learned abilities to defend themselves. But since this was a movie court room proceeding, the fact that Poe had a witness to the fight (his wife), the fact that he was injured in the fight, and the fact that his uniform was torn and otherwise ruined as a result of the fight are never examined. A D.A. wouldn't have taken this to a grand jury on a bet, because they would have never returned an indictment or "true bill."
Factual error: Fitch, who professes qualifications in biology, genetics and biochemistry, says that they made Sil female because she's a natural predator and so she'd be more docile. He should retake his finals. In every single species of predator on earth - every single one - the females are the hunters, aggressors and killers. The males may be socially dominant but they are the 'docile' ones. There are no exceptions - and no human DNA was used to create Sil - they used synthetic DNA based on the instructions transmitted to them.
Factual error: In the scene when Will is opening the drawer of films from the Leeds home, there is clearly a copy of Mrs. Doubtfire in the left column of tapes. How can that be? Red Dragon is clearly set "several years" after 1980, as the caption says, but before the 1991 Silence of the Lambs, but "Mrs. Doubtfire" came out in 1993.
Factual error: Trevor - a Professor of Geology - boasts about having an article published in Scientific American, and that is not something any scientist would do. Scientific American is looked upon with slight disdain by the scientific community, considered to be a populist crowd pleaser. It is not even peer reviewed. Considering that he has just turned the geological and archaeological worlds on their heads he would have been better off publishing in Journal of Geological Research or Geology, both prestigious professional journals.
Factual error: At the end of the film Rainwood has established his innocence of the drug charges and is happily back at work as a senior mechanic for a large airline. However, part of the sentencing and plea bargain protocols at his arraignment is his previous conviction on a lesser drug charge years before. It goes without saying that he did not advise his employers of this when he started work for them - no airline in the world (even pre 9/11) would hire someone with a drug conviction on their record! Now this is out in the open the airline knows that Rainwood is a convicted drug user (on the lesser, legitimate charge) and that he lied on his original job application. They wouldn't hire him again to sweep the floors.
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 Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?] (01:34:40)
Factual error: Towards the end of the film, Solomon is trapped in a small Plexiglas box and fires his gun into the bulletproof sides numerous times, but the bullets don't ricochet or get embedded in the glass.
Factual error: In the museum, Peter and his friends are real-time videos of live, moving biological specimens shot through 'the largest electron microscope on the Eastern seaboard'. You can't film live specimens in an electron microscope. The electron beam only works in a vacuum chamber, in which the specimen - invariably dead - is held. The microscope is identified as a scanning electron microscope - current technology - and nobody can fire an electron stream through air. The electrons will collide with gas molecules and scatter, ruining the image.