Factual error: For anyone who is in the Air Force or has taken the time to go inside of an E-3 AWACS at an airshow you will note that the AWACS in the movie looks nothing like that of the real life version. There is no position in the back that they sit across from each other sideways as were the non pilots in the scene that the flame engulfed. The only crew that sits like that is the Navigator and Flight Engineer, but these two actors were clearly too far back for that. (00:17:40)
Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film, when the President is being briefed by his members of staff, there is a General wearing a blue uniform sitting by the left armrest of the couch, with his back all the way back touching the backrest. In the next shot, still by the left armrest, he is now sitting farther forward at the edge of the couch. (00:12:55)The-Immortal
Continuity mistake: After their daughter leaves the room, when the President tries to lie to the First Lady about her condition, her hand is touching his face in the shot facing her. In the next shot facing him, her hand is down holding his hand, but when it cuts away her hand is back up touching her husband's face.Super Grover
Factual error: When the alien ship arrives in Washington DC, its shadow goes over the Lincoln Memorial from the bottom of the Lincoln statue to the top. Since the saucer is heading over the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial faces the Mall, the shadow should have gone from the top to the bottom. (00:21:40)Dom
Other mistake: In the scene immediately after Jasmine, her son, and their dog escape the fireball in the utility closet, they emerge from the wreckage to find everything destroyed. But in the background there are two palm trees still standing, with leaves and branches still intact. Isn't it logical that a huge fireball such as that would at the very least burn the leaves off the tree?
Continuity mistake: The airplanes they are flying have 4 missiles, yet at the final air combat the President fires 5 missiles: the first missile hits ship with the shield on, the second and third hit the ship directly, the fourth kills a fighter alien craft, and the fifth shoots at the green light from the main ship. (02:12:15)
Continuity mistake: When Russell boards the F/A-18 and when he is airborne - such as when he salutes Major Mitchell (who is back at command center), he wears his Hawaiian style short-sleeve shirt and is gloveless. After he says, "Eagle 20, Fox 2," in the close-up as he presses the launch button (resulting in launch failure), the arm shown wears both a green jumpsuit and gloves, neither of which Russell actually wears.Super Grover
Visible crew/equipment: When the President stands by "the big tamale" he asks Dr. Okun if he can tell them anything useful about them. When Okun rushes up the ramp as he passes Nimzicki, the actor's mark is visible on the ramp, directly in front of the Secretary of Defense. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)Super Grover