Continuity mistake: After discussing the torture of a prisoner, Hubbard begins to give a rousing speech to the General. Hub is shown walking forward into an open portion of the room, the walls a fair distance away. Then a quick cut shows him with his back nearly against the wall where he started, then the next shot of him has him back in the open area again, all with no time to make such location changes. (01:26:15)johnrosa
Continuity mistake: The van that drives through the streets of NYC has broken front turn signals and a chunk missing from the grille at our top/right when looking at the van's front. But when it crashes through the windows, none of this damage exists. Also, the dirty license plate becomes spotlessly clean. (01:05:25)johnrosa
Continuity mistake: Below the stadium, Devereaux, Hub and Elise discuss various forms of torture to use on their captive. When an officer states "It's extremely messy", he does so with a fairly relaxed expression. The camera angle changes instantly and he suddenly looks like a stiff, angry statue. (01:26:05)johnrosa
Continuity mistake: There's a scene in the film where Denzel Washington and Annette Benning are in a cafe of some sort. She has a coffee and Denzel has a glass of coke/pepsi. The camera angle changes regularly to point to each actor. The glass of coke can be seen in front of Denzel then he takes it in his hand. This scene goes on and on but the point is if you watch the glass, it re-appears on the table when in the shot just before it was in his hand.
Continuity mistake: After convincing his partner to rejoin the investigation, Hub has a multi-page form of letter-size paper that has been folded so that the back/yellow page is on the outside. It's folded once, top-to-bottom, then again sideways (making it 1/4 letter size). He opens the second fold to write "Hit Army 11:00" on half of the inside paper. He shows it to his partner, then to Elise. Elise takes it, closes the second fold (which conceals Hub's note) and writes "Bathhouse 12:00" on the outside of the folded paper, then hands it back to Hub, who then opens it to read her note. But that's *his* note on the inside. Her note is in plain site on the outside. (01:35:55)johnrosa
Continuity mistake: After Elise's arrest, she is driven across a bridge. The vehicles in the background keep changing, and the quantity of them varies wildly from few to many as the camera keeps changing angles to focus on each actor, the result of multiple takes among real, changing traffic. (Humorously, the 'Martial Law' edition DVD of this film has commentary during this scene that claims it was filmed on a set, using background footage to guarantee continuity. So much for that plan!) (00:17:40)johnrosa
Factual error: A computer screen is used to show that a matching record was found for the fingerprint of one of the terrorists. But the two prints shown are identical, meaning they are the same print, shown twice. In reality, a matching print would show the same patterns of skin texture, but the ink pattern, record quality, angle of the finger to the paper, would all vary. You can't make the exact same finger print twice. It's similar to you signature - it's always extremely similar, but never precisely the same. (00:31:40)johnrosa
Continuity mistake: When Hub is talking on his cellphone to the terrorists on the bus, he holds the phone with two fingers wrapping laterally around the back of the phone (near the mouth-end), his finger tips pointing toward his upper cheek. When the angle instantly changes to show him more from behind, his two fingers are pointing up along the backside of the phone (fingertips pointing at his own ear). (00:22:15)johnrosa
Continuity mistake: When Hub tells Elise he's going to have her escorted out of the area where the first bus is being examined, a dark portion of the pattern on her scarf is below her chin. When she turns to walk away (toward camera) the light portion is now centered below her chin. (00:09:30)johnrosa
Plot hole: Elise and Samir are in the back seat of Hub's car near a park, and Hub and his partner are standing outside the car. No one else is in the car. They pass notes as they know they are being watched and listened to. Elise and Samir walk away, and Hub and his partner get back into the front seats of the car and drive off. Suddenly a man jumps out of Hub's side of the front of the car and leads the soldiers in a foot chase. But it turns out not to be Hub, but a decoy, so Hub and partner can slip away. But this guy was not in the car before and they've been under surveillance, so this guy couldn't get in the car unseen and the decoy chase wouldn't have worked if he had been seen getting in the car. (01:33:40 - 01:36:15)johnrosa
Audio problem: In the beginning of the bedroom scene with Elise and her suspect client, the guy yells out "You let him hit me, I mean how can you let them hit me." But watch his lips when they first cut to him - they don't move until after he turns around. (00:40:00)
Continuity mistake: During the bus explosion, Denzel gets knocked to the ground, and as he falls a great spurt of blood flies from his nose/mouth. When he lies on the ground, his left cheek is bloody, but as he rises, it's clean as a whistle. When he's sitting up, it's even bloodier.
Factual error: In the movie, the FBI's staging area/headquarters for the terrorist cell investigation is at 1 Federal Plaza in New York City. In reality 1 Federal Plaza is the address of the US Court of International Trade. 26 Federal Plaza is the address of the FBI's New York office.