Continuity mistake: In the exterior front shots of Elliott's house there are some significant changes to the landscape in different shots. For instance, the two lampposts at the bottom of the driveway change to an entirely different style in some shots, and the huge garden boulders repeatedly vanish and reappear. Also, note when Michael takes off on Elliott's bike to go search for ET, the in-ground lamppost that should be beside the mailbox has vanished, but it reappears when all the government agents are setting things up outside the house.
Continuity mistake: When the twins are singing about Brad for the talent show, and Michael was playing the piano (you have to listen and watch), his hands are suppose to go across the keys but he is still doing the fake up-and-down-hand-move.
Continuity mistake: At the start of the film, the dog is seen going from room to room looking for food. Just before he goes into Dana's room, someone can be seen through the crack in the door, moving from left to right.
Continuity mistake: When Brian Schwartz drives away in his sports car, you can hear him shift 4 times. When they show a shot of his car go by, he is only going about 5 miles per hour. (00:48:40)
Continuity mistake: When they are all outside and MacReady has separated the three most likely suspects and orders that they be tied down and tested, he comments at that time that they are to be hit by a storm in six hours. Cut to the scene where Mac is dictating into his recorder and he comments that the storm has been hitting them hard for 48 hours. However it is the same night and at best, maybe only an hour has passed.
Continuity mistake: When De Niro's character gets in the limousine with Lewis' character he has a hurt hand. He wraps it with a handkerchief. As the scene progresses the handkerchief disappears and reappears depending on the camera angle. (00:07:15)
Continuity mistake: After Chuck breaks the liquor decanter and the desk appears free of broken glass Bill says, "Chuck you've got to keep that elbow stiff." When the camera cuts back to Chuck the entire desk appears as it was pre-fight with nothing disturbed, including a now complete and unbroken liquor decanter half filled with liquid. (01:30:40)
Continuity mistake: When the Jun hoard attack the Emirite village, Dar gets knocked unconscious and his dog starts to drag him away. After Maax arrives, the dog is shown dragging Dar away a second time. Two mistakes are apparent. The dog is pulling on the cloth of his left shoulder in this shot. First, when the dog is pulling, the dog stops to get a better grip on the clothing. When the dog lets go of the clothing, Dar keeps sliding even though the dog isn't pulling. Second, when they show the close-up of Dar, the dog is pulling on his right side, not the left. Then again on his left side and again on his right side. It switches a couple of times.
Continuity mistake: The woman reporter was walking behind Gandhi at the beginning of the movie. At the end, in the "repeat," she wasn't.
Continuity mistake: As Gant is pulling the Firefox out of the hangar, it is still very dark, as in pre-dawn. But as the Russian officers are shown shooting and watching the Firefox take off, it is suddenly much lighter outside as if it is after dawn and the sun can even be seen. But it would have taken 30-60 minutes for the light level to change that much.