The Recruit

The Recruit (2003)

34 mistakes

Continuity mistake: When Layla is hooked up to the lie detector that tracks the movement of her eye, she is looking around the room and blinking repeatedly, but the eye on the screen (which is supposed to be hers) never moves or blinks, even though the camera is still on her.

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Continuity mistake: When Colin Farrell's truck is chasing the silver VW Bug, the Bug crashes through a gate, sending debris into the truck's windshield, causing a spider-web impact break. In all subsequent shots, the windshield is undamaged.

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Other mistake: Towards the end of the movie, Clayton has two wounds visible on his face. These wounds keep changing length and shape throughout the scene.

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Continuity mistake: After Clayton says Burke's name to his 'captors' he is shown holding a pair of pants, in the next shot he is not holding them, then the next shot he is again.

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Revealing mistake: In the beginning of the movie when Al Pacino is supposed to be browsing the web you get a quick look at the address bar. It shows the URL to a local .html file instead of a website.

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Continuity mistake: When the boys are playing cards, Burke comes in and you can see that there are a bunch of chips and the deck of cards on the table. The camera angle changes and so do the chips. The cards suddenly jump into Clayton's hands as well.

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: The cut on Burke's forehead (which he gets at the end by putting his head through the glass door) changes throughout the final scene from some blood to a lot of blood about 5 times.

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MCKD

Visible crew/equipment: When James gets into Layla's car after forcing it off the road, the boom mic can be seen in the rear side window of Layla's Volkswagen Beetle.

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Plot hole: If Zack is the NOC as Layla says, why is she reporting to him (passing him notes at Union Station) rather than someone in her chain of command? The NOC is supposed to be "out there alone" according to Burke, not mixed up in the command structure.

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: In the shooting range scene, one of Colin Farrell's shots hits the line of the center ring of his targets. When he pulls his target in, turns to Layla and says "Nintendo", you can see that the rounds are in different places.

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Revealing mistake: In one scene it shows them throwing a Molotov Cocktail at some rocks. The rocks burst into flame before the bottle gets there and busts open.

xx:xx:xx

Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: In the shooting range scene at the Farm, the Recruit to Layla's left fires all of his rounds and his slide locks back when the camera is close up on Layla. In the next shot, the same recruit fires one last shot.

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Factual error: Burke says Clayton graduated "top of your class at MIT, majored in nonlinear cryptography..." but MIT has no such major. In fact, there's no such field.

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Continuity mistake: When James is standing at the wall of the interrogation chamber holding Layla's trousers in his right hand, the trousers are there in one shot, gone the next and back in the next.

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Continuity mistake: When Clayton is being recruited Burke grabs a newspaper to circle CIA. The previous scene had only the front page, but when he circles CIA there is a part of the torn paper on the bar as well.

xx:xx:xx

Joel Gordon

Factual error: Early in the movie, Al Pacino advises the recruits that they aren't there for the money, since he, as a GS15 only makes $75,000 a year. A GS15 (step 1) in Washington DC makes approximately $96,000.

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Continuity mistake: When Layla's VW has hit the tree, James's truck is pulled up alongside her, facing forwards. When James drives off, his truck is facing the other way but there was not enough time for him to turn around, or any indication that he did turn around (i.e. no sound of a vehicle making a three point turn).

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Factual error: In the middle of the film, as Farrel and Pacino talk in the park, Pacino tells Farrel about a new computer virus that Langley's created. He says it uses existing wires to propagate itself and can spread through, say, an electrical wall outlet. Computer viruses are programs that copy themselves (spread) when executed - this requires specific operating systems and CPUs. Anybody even remotely knowledgeable about computers knows this. The thought that a computer virus could somehow spread through the electrical grid or infect a toaster is ridiculous, since the only part of a computer actually connected to the electrical net is the PSU, and no data goes from it to the CPU.

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Factual error: After Clayton kills the man in the subway, he calls Walter using a cell phone and proceeds to tell him what just happened. Two trained CIA agents wouldn't use unsecure lines to relay that sort of information, especially when they are meeting soon.

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Continuity mistake: In the scene where Layla passes the note to Zack, he has a gray shirt on which is not tucked into his pants. Later, when Clayton is following him the gray shirt cannot be seen.

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: While searching Zack's bloody jacket for the note Layla passed Clayton's hand gets bloody. However, after reading the note he puts his hand to his mouth and there is no blood on it.

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: When Clayton is a "prisoner", rips and tears in his shirt appear and disappear throughout the entire scene.

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MCKD

Audio problem: When the recruits are pulled out of bed at 06h00 in the morning for a run, the running instructor walks past Colin Farrell and Bridget Moynahan asking if everyone is ready. When we see a long shot of the instructor, his mouth opens but no sound comes out. We only hear his words "Let's go!" when the camera is on Colin, who is making gestures towards his mouth.

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Continuity mistake: When Burke circles CIA on the newspaper at the bar, the newspaper is folded in half and positioned so Clayton can read it. A scene later the newspaper is not folded in half and it's positioned so Burke can read it.

xx:xx:xx

Joel Gordon

Factual error: When James jumps on a Metro train at Union Station after killing Zack, the Metro conductor's voice is heard to say, 'Red line to Shady Grove. Next station Dupont Circle.' On the red line going towards Shady Grove, the next stop after Union Station is Judiciary Square. Dupont Circle is actually the fifth stop after Union Station.

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Continuity mistake: When Al Pacino is being shot, there is no blood on his top, just a bit of smoke.

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Visible crew/equipment: In the scene where Layla drives her VW through the gate you can see a camera lens (a bright circle) in the passenger seat of Clayton's truck. This is the angle used for a brief moment from his view when she crashes through the gate.

xx:xx:xx

Joel Gordon

Factual error: When Burke is explaining the exercise about following the 'rabbit', in one of the shots on the ground there's a map of the world (I think it's a political map). So, the big yellow area in Europe looks very much like the Soviet Union which doesn't exist since 1991, besides, there's no Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea on that map.

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Continuity mistake: After Colin Farrell checks out the Ice9 data on his laptop PC and calls Bridget Moynahan, he puts his Spartacus disc into the computer's drive. In the next shot, the laptop PC is no longer on his lap.

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Continuity mistake: When Layla is trying to get away from Clayton in the car chase, she goes to pass a blue car behind a white truck. It cuts to a shot from inside her car and the white truck is there, but no blue car. Another car is coming the other direction and she has to yank the wheel. She should have been creamed by the blue car, but wasn't because it disappeared.

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: After getting shot, Zack touches the bloody jacket with his left hand. When he dies there's no blood on the fingers he touched it with.

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: When Clayton is hiding behind the SUV a shot from behind shows him peeking his head out to look at Layla. It cuts to a shot from the front where most of his torso is out from behind the SUV. Then another cut to behind shows only his head out again.

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Joel Gordon

Plot hole: Wouldn't the scanner that she puts the coffee mug through be able to detect the USB connector in the bottom?

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Joel Gordon

Continuity mistake: In the final scenes Al Pacino shoots at Colin Farell until the slide locks back on his pistol. When they make it outside there is a shot of the pistol with the slide fully forward just before they cut to another shot of him releasing the slide from the locked back position to the fully forward position.

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