Plot hole: The Bedouin who found the unexploded nuke in the desert was supposedly dying of radiation poisoning when Clark questioned him. All he did was dig it out and load it in a truck, while all the shields were in place. If it was emitting THAT much radiation, the 3 scientists who spent DAYS refurbishing it for Dressler would have been made too sick by the radiation to finish the job.
Factual error: When the bomb detonates, the shock wave hits the helicopter that Jack Ryan is riding in and rips the tail rotor off the helicopter. Without the tail rotor the helicopter should have immediately started spinning out of control and dropped straight to the ground. Instead the helicopter continues forward, arcing downward towards the ground like a fixed wing aircraft.
Factual error: When the F16 are attacking Russian bases one of the US pilots is wearing sunglasses. Combat pilots do not wear sunglasses when piloting their planes - their helmet has a visor with shaded glass to protect their vision from sun flare.
Factual error: The Trident II, submarine launched ICBM is actually identified as the "D5" not "D3" missile.
Continuity mistake: The President is told the missile launch sequence will take 30 minutes. When he gives the order to begin the sequence, you see B-2 bombers launching from bases in Italy. A short time later a Russian staff member reports the B-2's somewhere over Poland, however the missile launch sequence still hasn't completed. B-2's are not fast enough to go from Italy to Poland in under 30 minutes.
Factual error: In the cockpit of the Israeli A-4 Skyhawk being flown in 1973, shows a HUD (Head-Up-Displays) in the windscreen. No aircraft in 1973 had HUDs (Head-Up-Displays). HUDs were developed after 1973.
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
Factual error: As the President's motorcade is supposed to be approaching Ravens stadium in Baltimore via I-395, the motorcade is on the wrong side of I-395 & is actually traveling away from the stadium - it's unquestionably on the ramp portion of I-395 which leads directly to I-95 north.
Visible crew/equipment: Near the beginning of the movie, after the simulated alert when all of the government officials are getting into their cars to leave, there is a visible film camera, camera stand, and the camera operator. The reflection appears on the rear passenger side of a car on the right side of the screen. (00:08:10)
Continuity mistake: When Clark pulls the radiation indicator off the dead scientist, the readout is 7.0. The very next shot is a screen shot of the readout now displaying 6.9. Unlikely the plutonium was decaying that fast, or the bomb would not have been as potent...
Factual error: On the way to the football game it appears that they make the football stadium into a dome stadium. Baltimore doesn't have a dome stadium, this is evident a few minutes later when they show a panoromic view of Baltimore and you can see the 2 stadiums side by side as open stadiums. In the movie, Baltimore has a third domed stadium that is a CGI image in only one shot and not shown later.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the film, the American and Russian Presidents are making a speech at the White House. The medium shot shows the audience seated directly in front of the podium. When you see the wide shot later, there is an aisle that goes straight up the middle to the podium, where nobody is seated. Strangely, it looks like the entire presentation in front of the White House is digitally added (like Forrest Gump). Couldn't they easily match the medium shot if they are creating it later?
Other mistake: When Clark cut the Ukrainian fence with a gas device, the following two shots of the fence show that the links were clearly not cut, but just undamaged cyclone fencing.