Factual error: When Yuri is narrating about selling weapons for the US government (this was around the scene when he sells M-16's by the kilo), he mentions Lieutenant Colonel Southern. However, when you see the him, he has Colonel rank, which is a silver eagle. The Lieutenant Colonel rank is a silver leaf, not an eagle.
Character mistake: Nic Cage says "At 4 and a half months, the human fetus has a reptile's tail". This is totally incorrect. A human fetus has a tail-like structure between 4 and 7 weeks, not months, and it is little more than a mass of flesh which helps the muscular structure of the backbone develop before being absorbed for use in the formation of the legs and hips. (01:28:50)
Continuity mistake: When Ava is in Yuri's trailer discovering all the guns and things, Nicolai is shown behind the blue things hanging from the ceiling. It cuts to a close up of Ava, then it cuts back to where you can see where Nicolai was standing, but he is gone. It cuts back to Ava and then back again, and he is there.
Factual error: When the brothers are in Beirut and apparently get shot at by unknown forces behind a wall, Yuri scrambles to grab the money he threw while ducking. As he is picking up the cash, several of the $100 bills are of the new design introduced in 1996. However, this is 1982 Beirut, shortly after the Marine Base Bombing.
Factual error: Interpol - and a specific Interpol officer - are shown carrying out raids and arrests in several different countries, interrogating suspects, and operating in the field with a variety of military and paramilitary hardware including operations from jet fighters and warships. In fact, Interpol is an information exchange and coordination agency; it has no direct investigative powers, no powers of arrest, no field agents, and certainly no warships.
Factual error: Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is depicted with muddy ditches for roads, just one car, and the best hotel is a filthy tumbledown 3 storey building. While Liberia is quite poor, and was badly beset by the civil war, this depiction is severely exaggerated for dramatic effect. Monrovia actually has an 8 lane concrete freeway, around a dozen skyscrapers, and at rush hour traffic is heavy enough to cause traffic jams.
Continuity mistake: During the opening credits when the camera is following the bullet. When it is loaded into the gun magazine three other bullets are loaded in after it. However, when the gun is being fired, twelve bullets are shot out of the magazine before the one bullet is next to fire. (00:04:05)
Continuity mistake: Yuri is standing at the stern of the ship ordering the name change to Kono. He takes his binoculars, looks out to sea, and sees the navy approaching. But in the next shot we see the navy ship approaching from the bow of Kono so Yuri could not have seen it approaching from the stern. (00:20:15)
Factual error: When Yuri is selling 4 Glock pistols to the drug dealer, the box is open, 2 of the pistols were correct for the period Glock 19's. The 2 pistols pointing at the viewer were the later generation 3 version of the pistol which had the thumb indentations and a rail below the barrel, you can almost make out the finger groves in these pistols which weren't on the 1st generation.
Revealing mistake: When Yuri makes his first big sale, the pile of American M-16s in Beirut, the camera does a close up on the pile of weapons. Clearly stamped on the closest rifle is AR-15, the non-automatic civilian version of the M-16.
Continuity mistake: The apartment in NY has a carpet in the foyer for the majority of the film. In the scene where Ava is moving out, there is no carpet - only hardwood floor.
Continuity mistake: After changing the name of the freighter from Kristol to Kono, there is a moment where you see Valentine's perspective as he examines the name on the stern of the ship. For some reason in this shot, the K in Kono is inverted.solarpilot