Corrected entry: There's no way the people at SETI, NASA, or anyone pointing a telescope at the moon wouldn't have spotted the mother ship long before it reached the moon. If asteroids only a few miles wide can be spotted millions of miles away from the Earth then space ship 1/4 the size of the moon are visible long before July 2.
Corrected entry: After Russell Casse has crashed his plane into the alien's laser weapon and destroyed the ship, General William Grey gives the order to inform all countries to aim for the laser weapon to bring down all the alien spacecraft (which works). The problem here is the Americans were simply lucky that the ship had opened up the hatch and were planning to destroy Area 51, which left it vulnerable to being destroyed. All the other countries would have to fly around in circles and wait for the hatch to open which could have taken days, since they couldn't penetrate the outer armour. In short, it's highly unlikely they would have all fallen at once.Gavin Jackson
Corrected entry: The New York ship comes to a stop just above the tip of the Empire State building. Since the World Trade Center towers were several hundred feet taller, this means the ship should have collided with them and knocked them over, as they're only a few miles away, and the ship is easily larger than that. But after the city destruction, we see the twin towers still intact, if severely damaged.
Corrected entry: In both air battles, there are clear shots of F/A -18 Hornet Fighter Jets armed both with AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles (the small wingtip mounted ones) and with large AIM-54 Phoenix Missiles under the wings. The only fighter in the world that is equipped to fire the AIM-54 is the F-14 Tomcat.
Corrected entry: Although Goldblum is an off-the-scale genius, no time elapses between his father giving him the virus idea (the dialogue about "catching a cold") and Goldblum, who has been up all night drinking nearly all of a bottle of cheap scotch, announcing the demonstration of the working virus on the captured alien fighter-craft. Genius or no, the virus and communication program to deliver it into the alien system (potentially the hardware could have been developed to connect it up though as that need not depend on the virus idea) could not magically appear in his laptop without the time, however short for a drunken Genius, to develop it on that laptop and get it working. Instead a few minutes development time would be plausible and longer would even have been believable. Even off-screen elapsed time to type the virus into the laptop on the basis of it working first time isn't provided for in the film.
Corrected entry: There are some serious inaccuracies concerning the presence of the alien craft. The mother ship, with a mass one quarter that of the moon, passes very close to the moon and then settles in orbit around the earth. The gravitational pull from such a large object would cause a substantial disruption of the moon's surface and its orbit, and then of the earth's surface. These effects are not even mentioned. When the mother ship explodes in earth orbit the effect of such a large nuclear explosion so close to the earth would be so destructive that it does not even bear thinking, not to mention the billions of tons of debris it would leave behind, much of which would be pulled down to the earth's surface. Again, nobody seems too worried about this even though such an event would probably destroy all life on earth anyway.
Corrected entry: In the opening scene the alien mother ship is seen passing over the moon. Judging by the movement of the shadow it is travelling fairly slowly, of the order of 3000 to 4000 miles per hour. At this speed it would take the best part of 4 days to reach the earth, not a matter of hours.
Corrected entry: When it comes to saluting in the armed forces, the subordinate always puts up his or her salute first and then the superior officer puts up his salute. Only after the superior officer has put his salute down is the subordinate permitted to put down his salute. Never will a superior officer salute somebody of a lesser rank first. This occurs several times in the movie but the most obvious one was in the very last scene after the whole entourage jeeps out into the desert to meet David and Captain Hiller. General Grey (a 4 star general) salutes Captain Hiller (an officer of much less rank) first and then is in turn saluted back by Captain Hiller.redrainx14
Corrected entry: Before firing the nuke in the mother-ship Will and Jeff light their cigars, but when they are walking in the desert after returning to earth the cigars look like they only just have been lit, even though over 20 min have past. The control-center hasn't heard for them in 20 min and there wives and the president have to drive all the way out to them to greet them before we see the cigars again.Fidosan
Corrected entry: The humans are out of missiles in the final battle, except for Russell Casse, who flies right up into the alien main weapon, destroying the ship. A number of problems here. First off, a central control center operator reports all the missiles have been fired, indicating they are monitoring all F/A-18s. But somehow Russell's missile escaped their notice. Then no one in the control room seems to know where Russell came from, which they should know since they were monitoring all the F/A-18 pilots. Actually these mistakes stem from the original ending, which involved Russell arriving to the battle in his biplane with a missile strapped to it, ready for a suicide mission, because he was too drunk to be given an F/A-18. He then flew the biplane into the alien ship because he obviously couldn't fire the missile. According to Director's commentary, at the film's test screening the audience response to the biplane suicide ending was poor, indicating to the filmmakers that it was too cheesy. They decided to rewrite the end, so that Russell would make the choice to give up his life at the very last moment. They then filmed Russell in an F/A-18 cockpit, but chose not to film the control center scenes again, meaning they don't fit with what's seen onscreen.
Corrected entry: In the movie's final showdown, Russell flies his airplane directly in the green light. At this point, the alien ship is located directly over Area 51. So when it's going down, the whole area should be covered under millions of tons of "alien steel," since the spaceship is 13 or 15 miles in diameter. But some shots later you see the spaceship a few miles away in the mountains and a jeep driven by people who should be buried under ground.blackcab666
Corrected entry: The aircraft that deploys the nuclear missile at the saucer over Houston is a B-2 Spirit, a slow moving stealth bomber. It would have made more sense for the human command to deploy nuclear munitions using a more maneuverable fighter/bomber that stands a better chance of escaping the blast and any subsequent alien fighters that would be dispatched.Dom
Corrected entry: The humans are shown attacking the alien destroyers with AMRAAM air-to air missiles, which are shown both times to do virtually no damage to it. AMRAAMs are designed for fast moving air-to air targets, like the alien fighters. Yet, the humans do not see a need to fit their fighters with more powerful weapons, such as bunker busters, cluster bombs, nuclear bunker busters or tactical nukes, that would easily cripple or outright destroy the alien saucer. Instead, they resort to firing countless AMRAAMs at a 15-mile wide destroyer, which amount to pinpricks and cause needless deaths.Dom
Corrected entry: During the nuclear attack on the saucer, the B-2 Spirit bombers are not shown with fighter escorts. Since what they are attacking isn't human, and would most likely detect them regardless of the B-2's stealth ability and send fighters after them, the bombers would be destroyed. Given the nature of the mission and the need for it to succeed, one would think slow moving nuclear bombers warrant escorts.
Corrected entry: The whole premise of the ending was based around giving the mothership a virus to take out the shields. However, given that the "electrics" had only very recently come on in the Area 51 spacecraft, there would have been no time for anybody to have reverse engineered the computer system and alien programming language, let alone for David to come in at the last minute, manage to guess off the top of his head what part of the mothership's system controlled all the shields, find a vulnerability in their code that could be exploited to switch them off, and then create the virus to do so.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Jasmine retreats from the attack in the maintenance room, she backs into a concrete wall. However, the whole "wall" shakes as she backs into it.
Corrected entry: In the opening scene, the alien craft slowly flies over the Apollo 11 placard on the moon, and there are footprints in the soil. The spacecraft causes vibrations that disturbs the soil around the placard and the footprints. There is no sound in space (or on the moon), and the moon's atmosphere is almost a vacuum, so the soil should not have been disturbed in such an extreme manner. This is deliberately done for the dramatic effect.
Corrected entry: As LA is destroyed, you see Jasmine sitting in her car. As she turns around in her seat to see the fire ball coming at her, you see the entrance to the tunnel is an arch. As she runs through the tunnel, the ground is level. But the morning after, she has to climb up to get back out of the tunnel entrance, which is now a complete circle. It looks as if she's coming out of a large drain pipe.
Corrected entry: In the White House they mention "an AWAC. The aircraft [E-3 Sentry] is known as an AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System], it is not plural so you don't drop the S.
Corrected entry: While Steve and David are trying to escape the mother ship, they are approaching the ship's outer doors that are about to close. David keeps saying, "Must go faster, must go faster", then it shows Steve with his arms extended as if he is pushing the controls forward trying to make the craft go faster. The problem with this is that when they first tried to take off from Area 51, the controls were such that pulling back on them made the craft go forward, and pushing them forward made it go in reverse. But Steve was not pulling the controls back toward him when they were escaping.
Corrected entry: In the scene near the end of the movie when Russell Cates is flying the jet fighter, he says 'Tell my children I love them very much', then proceeds to fly his jet up into the UFO to blow it up. The problem is, in every scene previous to this when the UFO fired its laser beam, it destroyed everything it hit. Why didn't it destroy the jet when it entered the beam?
Corrected entry: This movie has the highest body count in film history. Six major characters die, plus billions that are killed when the cities are blown up. Add to that the pilots who are killed in the aerial attacks, all the people who die when the military bases are blown up, not to mention an entire alien race, and the movie's final body count is somewhere in the trillions.Brad
Corrected entry: Early in the film, after the arrival of the alien spacecraft, President Whitmore indicates that, "We may need to upgrade to Defcon 3" in light of the worsening situation. The Defcon scale is lowered in response to a more threatening situation, and would therefore require a "downgrade to Defcon 3."
Corrected entry: When David and Steven break the Earth's atmosphere, there is no sign of the mother ship despite heading straight towards it in the next shot.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Jimmy and Steve are being chased by 2 alien spacecraft, Jimmy says he is going to "try something", after which he makes a drastic high speed left turn away from Steve's plane. The G forces are so great, Jimmy can't breathe so he takes off his oxygen mask. Steve immediately yells, "Put your mask back on!", but how would he have known he removed his mask if he had already banked away from him and he couldn't actually see him?
Corrected entry: When we see the alien spacecraft stop above the Empire State Building, it looks like the very top of the building is not far from the bottom of the ship. How can this be? The WTC buildings were about 1,000 feet high, so to clear those buildings, the bottom of the ship should have been much higher above the ESB. The same thing with the ship over the White House - in order to clear the Washington Monument, it would have had to be higher than it was shown above the White House.
Corrected entry: When Captain Steven "Steve" Hiller and David Levinson are getting ready to fly out on the alien ship, the camera shows Hiller the launchpad for the missile that they are to use on the mothership. Hiller says, "It's just like the AMRAAM launch pad on a stealth." AMRAAM stands for Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile. Both the F-117 "Stealth Fighter" and the B-2 "Stealth Bomber" only carry air to ground weapons. Neither stealth is equipped to carry AMRAAMs, and therefore wouldn't have AMRAAM launchpads.
Corrected entry: That alien suit is rather odd: it needs to be cut open with a razor sharp knife, then the alien is covered in a fleshy mass, however the suit is so weak an alien gets knocked out when it gets punched.
Corrected entry: When Will Smith flies the FA18 and is being chased by the alien space craft, just as the FA18 comes into the shot when he flies over the edge of a canyon there is no shadow on the ground, but then suddenly the shadow appears within the same shot - it doesn't gradually appear like the FA18 does.
Corrected entry: In the scene where David shows everyone how he can penetrate the fortress, he specifically says the only way to disable the shields in all the ships is to detonate a bomb in the mothership (he says it quickly towards the end of his little speech so pay attention) - But the shields go down way before they detonate the bomb, the shields go down as soon as they upload the virus.Al
Corrected entry: When Cpt Hiller (Smith) gets in the F18 for the first attack, just under the canopy it reads "CPT Jimmy Wilder" with "Raven" below that. But Smith's character is "Steven Hiller." Connick's character is "Jimmy Wilder." Hiller is flying the wrong plane.
Corrected entry: When the spaceship is first coming into hover position over D.C., it passes over the Washington Monument. While the shadow hits the ground and monument separately, it incorrectly hits the ground first. Since the light source comes from the left and the spaceship is moving right, it should hit the higher monument first, with the ground shadow trailing. The opposite is true in the movie.
Corrected entry: At the end Steven and David are flying out of the mothership and they barely make it out. Hence the spaceships that are following them blow up because they hit the wall. Thats the problem, it's in space. In order to have fire you must have oxygen. In space there is no oxygen. Therefore there could not have been a fire when the ships crashed.
Corrected entry: When Jasmine arrives at his destroyed airbase she stands at a fence outside the military area. She is filmed from inside but you can read a sign "Restricted Area" fixed to the fence. So the restricted area must be the whole world for the soldiers inside the airbase.
Corrected entry: The scene when the kids are in the trailer watching TV and the ship is approaching, everything in the trailer is shaking intensely. 3 seconds later, they come out to see what's going on and you can see the ropes that are tied to the awning are not moving at all.
Corrected entry: When David is calling Connie at the White House, she sweeps the curtain to the right from the outside and she is standing in front of the window. The shot changes angles and the curtain is now being held without Connie standing there.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Jasmine is running in the tunnel with her child, you can clearly see that the child is a dummy (plastic head).
Corrected entry: When the White House is obliterated, they made a model of the house to explode. As the beam is on the White House you can already see flames coming out of the left side of the house. They taped it in slow motion, then as the actual plasma/bomb came down through the beam, they sped up the footage. There is no other explanation for this because the "house" is already exploding before it should.
Corrected entry: I am just curious as to how Jasmine has time to look in the mirror, see the alien plasma wall about 400 yards away, curse, get the slow witted child out, pick up her bag, run to the door, kick the door in and call the dog which gets to them safely. This plasma moves at about 180mph as it was comfortably keeping up with Air Force One when it was taking off.
Corrected entry: When the aliens are coming in to New York, there is a shot of people starting to run in the other direction, from where the ship is coming in. The cop on horseback turns the horse around to flee, and in the next shot from the side of the street, the cop turns his horse around again.TiggBoy
Corrected entry: When the stealth bomber launched the nuke to blast the alien ship apart, watch as the stealth steered to the left. Yet the radar from Area 51 shows the stealth steering to the right.
Corrected entry: When the spaceships are destroyed at the end and everyone is cheering, one of the ships in seen crashed behind the pyramids. If the spaceship had crashed in that spot it would have flattened Cairo. (It's easy to tell this looking at the configuration of the pyramids).
Corrected entry: Jeff Goldblum tells Harvey Fierstein that there will be six hours until the countdown ends. There is no way that he could have left his office, gone on bicycle to his father's house and driven as slowly as they were from New York to DC with time to spare before the countdown ended. The drive alone is a minimum of 4.5 hours with no congestion, averaging 70mph. They were going considerably more slowly.
Corrected entry: In Jeff Goldblum's New York office, one of the televisions is on some news channel. The anchorman mentions that there are ships over the capitals of England, India, and Germany. You then see a map of where the ships are, and the one over the Indian capital is labeled "Bombay." The capital of India is New Delhi.
Corrected entry: I hate to say it, but Area 51 is not located in the Utah desert as shown in several desert scenes. Area 51 is in Nevada surrounded by mountains.
Corrected entry: Why do they attack the ships only with F/A-18s? They could fire a lot more warheads from submarines, destroyers and so on.
Corrected entry: Goldblum makes an assumption when creating his computer virus (in the complex alien language, no less) that the aliens would not have any kind of anti-virus software or other security measures embedded in their obviously highly classified control system software. Ridiculously improbable. He has no fallback plan, either.
Corrected entry: In the shot after the President penetrates the ship's shield, we see about 20 missiles fired at the front ship and all of the missiles make huge fiery holes causing quite a bit of damage. But in the shot where the small alien fighters start to attack the civilians at area 51, the ship (in the background) has no damage to it whatsoever.
Corrected entry: Will Smith's girlfriend avoids an explosion by ducking into a janitor's closet inside a tunnel, yet the special effects show the beam knocking over buildings, and there's even a shot of the entire city being levelled. The next day, however, there's all sorts of debris and survivors left behind.
Corrected entry: In the introduction, the satellite collides with the alien mothership and explodes on impact. Satellites don't contain anything explosive and there's no oxygen inside them.
Corrected entry: In the opening scene from the surface of the moon, dust can clearly be seen swirling around the plaque. Since the moon has absolutely no atmosphere, what is this dust swirling on?
Corrected entry: When the President arrives at Area 51 he orders the guard to open the "clean room" where workers are wearing full body clean suits. Yet a few minutes later when Brent Spiner and his crew arrive (from within the clean room) they are all wearing street clothes and lab coats, not clean suits.William Miller
Corrected entry: In the cable office where Jeff Goldblum works, there is a wall of TV screens, presumably to show all the channels that the company broadcasts. After the alien ships appear, the president comes on to address the nation, and we see him gradually appear on all of the screens. However, at the center of this wall, he is shown in a large image, with nine or so televisions combining to make one huge jumbo-tron type image. As this appears, you can see the individual channels changing to pieces of his picture one by one. It is unlikely that each channel was only broadcasting a piece of this image, so someone at the office must have changed the sets so they would all display the same image in this manner. As only Jeff Goldblum and Harvey Fierstein have not evacuated the office, who could have made this change?
Corrected entry: Late in the movie, there's a remark about the Belgian Airforce having been destroyed in the Sinai. The Sinai Desert is next door to Egypt - what was the Belgian Airforce doing there? They're supposed to defend European airspace, not African.
Corrected entry: When the Morse code signal is received in the Iraqi Desert, the man standing in the background is playing with his pistol the entire time. First he points it at the man across from him, then he holds down the paper with it, then in the next shot he's playing with it again.
Corrected entry: Area 51 should be deep underground. The rocks should therefore provide everybody with enough cover for large bombs and even protection from the alien's primary weapon. When Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum go out to save the world in the alien spacecraft, the door to the surface opens. The launch site has its own door to the outside world. Why is it that the base is deep underground but has a big door leading to the surface that has no protection at all?
Corrected entry: When the aliens arrive for the first time and move over Washington, the shadow of the spacecraft goes over the Washington monument, but the shadow of the Washington monument is never seen, even though the sunlight is directed at an angle where it would be very large.
Corrected entry: The three helicopters hover by the alien space ship. The ship then shoots a beam to destroy all 3 of the helicopters. But the two smaller helicopters start to explode from the inside before they are hit with the ray.
Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum is in the Oval Office waiting to talk to the president he stands up and closes his laptop and sets it on the desk with the opening side facing the front of the desk. When he tells the president "And the clock is ticking," he turns the already opened laptop around towards the front of the desk.
Corrected entry: When the fleet of alien vessels is wiping out the army base, they fire hundreds of shots, yet we never see any of them hit the ground, except to blow up a few planes.
Corrected entry: The entire scene where Will Smith and his girlfriend first see the spaceship is pretty ridiculous. First, Will goes out to get the paper, but instead of taking it back in the house, he opens it up and starts reading it - in the yard. Then Jasmine comes out (conveniently neglecting to notice the spaceship that's directly in her line of vision) and offers him a cup of coffee - in the yard. Were they planning to spend the rest of the morning standing in the front yard?
Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum is demonstrating how he puts the virus into the old alien fighter to lower its shield, he puts a soda can on the ship and asks an officer to shoot it. When he does, the bullet is stopped by the ship's shield. Then after the virus is put into the ship's system, the officer is able to shoot the can off of the ship. But when Goldblum picks the can up, there is no bullet hole in it, only a dent. The military must make their soda cans bulletproof.
Corrected entry: Why did the aliens take up position over the First Interstate building in downtown L.A.? This is not the centre of L.A., nor is it a pivotal role in the functioning of the city, like the White House. Come to think of it, neither is The Empire State Building in New York City. These don't sound like very practical tactical positions. They must really hate bankers.
Corrected entry: After they had brought the First Lady into Area 51, the doctor said to the President something like:"Your wife has internal bleeding, there is nothing we can do for her, she will die soon." The helicopter crash which caused that trauma was at least 12 hours ago, nobody could survive that time course with severe internal bleeding! Why couldn't those guys at Area 51 operate on her, and how the hell did they even know that she has internal bleeding severe enough to die from?
Corrected entry: In the one of the final sequences when it is showing the ships being brought down all over the world, it shows one crashing over the pyramids, and one crashing somewhere near Sydney Harbour, as well as the one which is crashing at Area 51 in America. In all of these scenes it is daylight, which is near impossible given that these locations are fairly evenly spread across the world, and it has to be dark somewhere.
Corrected entry: When the alien is brought into the containment lab of Area 51, we see all sorts of high-tech monitors set up and doctors running around checking everything works and everything is prepped and ready for the alien. So why is it, after all this work, they forget to administer some form of anaesthetic to the alien knowing that not only is it merely unconscious from a punch to the head but it has a nasty temperament towards mankind?
Corrected entry: When Jasmine is in the tunnel during the attack and sees a large fireball coming at her in the rearview mirror, there are people running and lots of destruction but her little boy is sitting in the back seat not even concerned with what's going on.
Corrected entry: When Russell is in his trailer listening to the radio (right before the youngest boy barfs), the announcer says (paraphrase) "Reports indicate that Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York have been completely destroyed..." Russell starts to say 'Good God.' just at the mentioning of the cities' names. Shouldn't the actor wait until the news comes until he is surprised?
Corrected entry: Tell me this: why can Jeff Goldblum drive straight to the White House without hitting traffic? They drive down a motorway while everyone is trying to get out of the city, yet everybody obeys the law and stays on the proper side of the road. What good citizens. They might die but they still obey the law.
Corrected entry: How come the aliens keep attacking major cities on July 3rd? After the first attacks people flee the major cities and surely the aliens must have realised that reaction would come. So why blow up abandoned cities?
Corrected entry: In the scene where the B-2 Bombers are going to nuke the ships, you can see the Houston citylights below them. Why is there intense citylight in a devastated city?
Corrected entry: After Randy Quaid flew into the Alien ship and it blew up, what happened to all those Alien Fighters which greatly outnumbered the American jets? There seems to be no further thought of the hundreds / thousands of Alien Fighters in any of the different locations where the Alien Ships are being taken down.
Corrected entry: The planetary saucers in the movie are 15 miles in diameter, and are 2.5 miles in height. Assuming that 9/10 of the ships are air or lighter then air gases, and that the ships' walls are made of a metal with the density of water (this is a very generous estimate), then each ship would weigh 100 billion tons! No matter what source of flight used, these ships would create a pressure of 30 atmospheres on anything below it. Most buildings would crumble under 5 atmospheres, and our bodies would flatten like pancakes long before that.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Will Smith first notices the spacecraft, he is absolutely astounded by the sheer size of it. Yet his girlfriend, bringing him coffee, doesn't seem to notice it until she walks up to him and looks at his face to see what he is looking at. She didn't notice the 15 mile long UFO? It's not a really a mistake, just really crappy writing and acting.
Corrected entry: When the President "fires" his Secretary of Defense, SecDef protests by saying "you can't do that!" He, in fact, is right. The SecDef would have to be impeached by Congress.
Corrected entry: The Secretary of Defense turns towards the President and gravely announces "We can expect the destruction of all major cities in 72 hours". Wow, I'm impressed. Either the US or Russia could accomplish that in less than half an hour. Incredibly advanced technology ain't what it used to be...
Corrected entry: When in the area 51 base, a screen in the background shows a night vision view of a plane landing. Why is a Panavia Tornado fighter bomber landing in an American secret base, when they are flown in England, Germany and Italy?
Corrected entry: In the mother ship Will and Jeff light up their two last cigars after transmitting the virus. On the ground contact is lost for "20 mins" - yet when they are picked up on the ground the cigars are still at full length and haven't burnt down a bit.
Corrected entry: The shape and size of the aliens isn't exactly humanoid, but, when Jeff and Will board the space ship the seats seem to be pretty well designed to accept a human body...