The Sum of All Fears

Deliberate mistake: When asked about the effects of a gas attack on a village in Russia, the president is told that the effects were similar to end stage cerebral palsy. One major problem - cerebral palsy is a chronic condition, not acute. The condition itself is not fatal.

Thisbe

Deliberate mistake: When Ryan is entering the Pentagon to use the hotline, he swipes Cabot's ID card multiple times until finally the gate opens. There are two problems with this. First, if the system beeps, as it did every time he swiped, that means the system saw the response from the card so he shouldn't have needed to keep swiping. Second, the entry to the Pentagon uses a two-factor system, meaning you need to swipe and then enter a corresponding PIN on the keypad that was quite visible in the scene. This is to prevent exactly what Ryan did, namely steal an ID card and use it to get into the Pentagon since the thief wouldn't know the PIN. Since the keypad was there, for the movie the director must have decided all the real steps were too hard to fit the kind of scene he wanted so left it out. (01:44:00)

jimba

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Mistakes

A force of Russian Tu-22 Backfire bombers attacks the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) by sneaking in under the ship's radar. This is all well and good except that carriers usually don't use their own radar, they have Airborne Early Warning aircraft (E-2 Hawkeye's) that can see much further and not give away the carrier's position (let alone the F-14s which would be patrolling too) not to mention the fleet of destroyers other ships guarding the carrier. The whole point is, the US Navy practiced and planned for such a "carrier versus Backfire" battle for years. I guess in the interest of furthering the plot Hollywood has to ignore the immense measures the USN takes to protect those multi-billion dollar assets, not to mention the 5000+ sailors that man them.

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Trivia

Ben Affleck is the third actor to play Jack Ryan. His predecessors are Harrison Ford (Clear & Present Danger, Patriot Games) and Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October).

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