Factual error: Many times in movies, we can see the hero running into a burning building or approaching a burning vehicle to save someone, then escape from the flames with only a few black coal spots on his face. In reality, the extreme heat would make it impossible for an unprotected person to get THAT close to fiercely burning fire. Even if he can overcome his natural instinct, the pain from hot air would be unbearable (it's nearly as excruciating as direct burning) and leave him with severe injuries.
Common movie and TV mistakes
This is a list of mistakes, things done wrong, etc. that happen so frequently onscreen we barely notice any more. 'Movie logic', stupid behaviours, and everything related.
Factual error: In movies including fighter jet battle scenes, the pilot bailing out from a terminally damaged plane can walk away immediately after touching ground. In reality, emergency ejection is very stressful to the human body, even if trained. The least you can expect is back pain, dizziness, ringing ears and numb legs for days, but the pilot can even fall unconscious from the sudden shock while descending. EE is much more unpleasant and less heroic than usually depicted in films.
Other mistake: In racing scenes, the protagonist usually has unfortunate disadvantages through the race (issues at the start, unplanned pit stops due to technical problems, etc...) and falls back drastically. Still, after having a sentimental flashback or hearing his girlfriend over the radio, the camera shows him changing into the top gear, pushing the throttle all the way down (the heck was he doing so far then?), and he catches the pack in a matter of seconds then overtakes all opponents with ease.
Factual error: Most ventilation ducts are not large enough for a person to crawl around in, and any duct large enough for an adult to fit in wouldn't be able to support the person's weight. In the rare event that a company could afford a large ventilation system that could support a person's weight, they would likely forgo it anyway, as it would pose a security risk.
Factual error: Enhancing an image by zooming in to blurry CCTV footage and somehow reading the reflection of a ticket in someone's pocket off a nearby fridge.
Factual error: People being in a vicious gunfight with no ear protectors and still being able to have a normal conversation afterwards.
Deliberate mistake: In fight scenes, it's often one person against a small army. Despite having the person greatly outnumbered, the enemies proceed to attack them one at a time, allowing each to be easily dispatched. The whole point of having so many is to overwhelm your enemy... not take turns getting punched out.
Character mistake: In almost every film or TV show, if the villain actually bothered to kill the hero as soon as they met face to face instead of just talking about their plans, the villain would actually succeed in his or her plans. Instead, the villain letting the hero live becomes their real downfall.
Factual error: Someone gets punched in the face or otherwise knocked out and comes around hours later, then goes on to pick up where they left off as best as possible and forget the incident in about 30 seconds. If you've been unconscious for hours you've got a traumatic brain injury and need medical attention, you won't be hunting down your assailant any time soon.
Factual error: Snipers using a laser mounted to their rifle to line up their target. Snipers in real life don't use lasers in this manner. For one thing, it gives away their position, and additionally because lasers won't line up a target accurately at a long range, as the bullet is affected by gravity, the rotation of the Earth, and other factors.
Factual error: In many films and TV series that feature passwords being cracked by a "brute-force" attack, individual characters of a password are found independently of each other. (See Ocean's Eight, Under Siege 2, various episodes of Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizei, or Person of Interest.) In reality, this is impossible; most of the times the password itself is not stored anywhere. Rather, an irreversible cryptographic hash of the password is stored, and the typed password's hash is compared with that. Either the whole thing is right or no access is granted.
Join the mailing list
Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.