Revealing mistake: When John is stuck in traffic and he walks up to the other man asking if anyone was hurt, the guy looks behind John's shoulder as if the plane is coming right behind him. Then John turns around and looks right behind him as well. But the camera then pans all the way to the side to see the plane coming in before it crashes - they were looking in the wrong place.
Deliberate mistake: After the plane has crashed, the camera turns around and looks at John, as he watches the plane crash. There is a first row of cars with a line of fire burning behind them, yet people are still sitting in their cars looking directly forward as if nothing happened.
Factual error: When John Kostler arrives in New York from Massachusetts, they pan out and show him crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. There is no logical way, on the route to Manhattan from New England, that one would cross this bridge. It would require him to travel completely out of the way, and judging by the competence of the protagonist, it becomes obvious this was used for visual effect only.
Revealing mistake: John is stuck in traffic and talking on his mobile phone on the highway just before the plane crashes. On the right-hand side of the screen, there's a car (Hyundai) visible through John's car side window. The car has number plates of Victoria, Australia where this particular scene was shot.
Factual error: Cell phone signals are repeatedly blocked by electromagnetic radiation from the sun. However, GPS devices, which receive a much fainter signal from satellites, continue to operate. For that matter, television broadcasting, which relies on satellite relays, continues until the end of the film.
Continuity mistake: In the opening 1950s school scene, the children all run up the front steps of the school. A little blonde girl wearing an orange cardigan and white dress is seen running up the stairs to the school building. A few seconds later the same girl is seen running towards the school again - from further back.
Continuity mistake: When Nicholas Cage is watching Tigers under threat, he pours himself a drink. He ends up overfilling the glass, resulting in him spilling on the floor. It sounds like the scotch hits a wooden or tile floor, yet when the angle changes he would have spilled on a rug. Here the wet spot on the rug is also magically gone.
Continuity mistake: When John is decoding the numbers for the first time, he uses a whiteboard. On the whiteboard are, presumably, spelling words for Caleb. He erases some of these to make room for the numbers. In the various shots of this scene, words disappear and reappear continuously, often written slightly different.
Factual error: Almost at the end of the movie, when John is driving in a crowded street just before joining with his parents, there is a shot showing a Water Delivery Service Car fully charged which is not possible due to the emergency. It is supposed to be empty because of people taking water for themselves.
Continuity mistake: Early in the film, Nicholas Cage is hitting the bottle. After pouring one or two drinks, he starts to pour another, nearly fills his glass, then spills it. Although the bottle is about half-empty at this point, the next time it is shown standing on a table, there is only a small amount remaining at the bottom.
Continuity mistake: The day after John has discovered that the numbers refer to dates and number of deaths, he shows the sequence to his friend on a flat screen TV. On the left of the TV there is a pile of 4 DVD boxes with white labels. They are gone in the shot where John leaves the room.
Revealing mistake: In the scene where John first discovers the patterns of numbers, he writes all of the numbers on his whiteboard. He circles the numbers he finds online with a colored marker. When he circles the number 2708 with the blue marker, he passes over the 8 with the marker, but the original black 8 and part of the 0 appears on top of the blue, showing that it was done using some overlay technique. This same effect is shown several times including when the blue and red pens mix but are still behind the black.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where there is heavy traffic on the road (before the plane crash), John gets out of his car to see what's going on. As he's making his way to the front, he passes a black pick-up truck. The camera angle changes, and you can see John pass the same truck again.
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