Best mystery movie plot holes of all time

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Minority Report picture

Plot hole: Anderton's wife gains entry into the jailhouse using her husband's eyeball - but he's already locked up inside, so his eye would not still have access to enter as it pleased. Any place anywhere that would have any sort of security system requiring anything from a simple passcode to a card key to a retinal scan, would immediately delete the user in such instances from all rights. And would also certainly report on any attempted use of such (retinal scan, pass code, whatever). (02:00:45)

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Suggested correction: I thought that this was a mistake as soon as I saw it on screen, but reconsidered. It's perfectly possible that there was some, probably human caused, delay in updating the security system. After all, there wasn't a rush to do it since they already had the chief on ice. Maybe the sleep jail was still on a legacy system without automatic updating. Just assuming that in the near future that all systems are all perfectly integrated and instantaneous does not validate this as a mistake.

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Evil Under the Sun picture

Plot hole: Patrick Redfern needs someone to be in the boat with him to corroborate his and his wife's deception and be his alibi. That is whole point of his wife lying on beach - he gets this when taking Myra for a ride - but it was portrayed as a random ride she got, he did not intend or plan giving her a ride, he did not see her loitering near the boat, or even in view of him untying the boat. Even if that was intention in the story for him to be seen ready to cast off, the movie viewers did not see her viewing him, only her appearing just before he was set to cast off. Without someone with him the whole deception would not work, he would have no alibi, he could have killed Arlena unseen.

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Limitless picture

Plot hole: If Bradley Cooper was able to "quintuple" his money every day in the market as he claims to have done, he would have been able to earn the $100k he borrowed from a loan shark within a few days, starting from $800. Alternatively, he is shown in one scene winning a pot in poker where he could presumably also make a large amount of "seed" money from gambling. There was no need to borrow such a small sum of money from a loan shark, making the entire sub-plot unnecessary.

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Suggested correction: The main character says he did quintuple his money four days in a row, not that he could continue to do so. "Presumably" he could do anything, like robbing a bank. Gambling is not a secure source of income, even with knowledge of the odds and every tell, he could also lose a lot of money.

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Jigsaw picture

Plot hole: Spoilers. It's revealed that the barn game takes place at an old farmhouse owned by the family of Jill Tuck - Jigsaw's widow. It's public knowledge that she was married to Jigsaw and that buildings they owned served as the headquarters of several past traps, so the barn should have been investigated at some point in the meantime. Ten years have passed. It makes no sense that the barn was never investigated and that the bodies of the barn victims were never discovered.

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Suggested correction: The game was unknown to police even 10 years after John died. Now they've found all his other games and his multiple lairs. There would be no need to continue the search.

Ssiscool Premium member

Hogwash. They would have definitely searched known properties associated with Kramer and his family.

I agree. In the second Saw movie, the police discover that John Kramer is Jigsaw. With this knowledge, not only would the police be able to freeze his assets but, they would be able to look into his financial records and look into any properties he owns like houses, warehouses, etc. Since the cops now have a face and a name, it's a very big plot hole why they never searched his home or any other places. If they had, more traps would have been found and confiscated.

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Salt picture

Plot hole: In the end, all they have to do is ask the President, when he's conscious (Liev didn't kill him; he just knocked him unconscious), who killed everyone in the control room and nearly killed him. He would know who the traitor is and it's not Salt - when they look back at the facts, they'll see how Salt only killed when she absolutely had to, and how she saved lives and stopped a 3rd world war.

kh1616

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Flightplan picture

Plot hole: The whole concept of a kidnapper 'pretending' his victim didn't get on the plane in the first place is utterly laughable. Even if nobody saw her in her seat, why didn't they see her walking down the aisle to her seat, or waiting to board the plane, or in the boarding tunnel itself? Why isn't she listed on the passenger manifest, or on her mother's travel documents or airline ticket? And there would have been security cameras all over the airport.

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Double Jeopardy picture

Plot hole: For a convicted murderer who violated her parole and assaulted her parole officer while escaping custody, Ashley Judd moves around the country and even boards airplanes with little to no problems.

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Suggested correction: She was simply careful. There's constant manhunts for much more serious felons and parolees on the lam who seem capable of moving around without getting caught.

How did she keep the gun if she flew across the country?

She likely put the gun in her bag and then checked it with other passengers' luggage at the airport. As long as she wasn't carrying the gun on her, it would go through.

raywest Premium member

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Before I Go to Sleep picture

Plot hole: The whole movie plot relies on a very unlikely assumption: that the ex-husband would not visit Kidman at her mental institution where he put her in, nor call for any news at all, for four whole years... Even though divorced, they still share a common child! And what about the parents / siblings / extended family/ friends of Kidman? Would they also never visit for four whole years? If any one of them had, then they would have known the (fake) ex-husband had taken her out and would have called the real husband to get news. Then Kidman would have been reported as kidnapped.

AnthonyA

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Premonition picture

Plot hole: When Bridgette ran through the glass and Linda and Jim were at the hospital Jim tells Linda he called her mom and told her what happened and she was coming to stay over the next day. Yet apparently her mom forgot what happened because she had her committed because Linda didn't remember what happened to Bridgette's face. Also, Bridgette was like 9. How come no-one just asked her what happened?

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Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning picture

Plot hole: When the cop shows Pam the newspaper clippings they include what look to be fresh photos of the real Jason from the events of Part IV, yet no photographer is ever seen taking pictures of Jason alive in the previous films and most likely wouldn't live long enough to publish the photo. (01:25:00)

jbrbbt

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Suggested correction: The picture was taken from security footage at the hospital after killing the 2 employees.

lartaker1975

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Hostel picture

Plot hole: There's no way Paxton could have took the bodies off the cart, laid them down, and stacked them back on top of him in the 3 seconds it took for the guy to open the door. (01:07:15)

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The Thing picture

Plot hole: As the gun-toting Norseman approaches the buildings, Garry smashes the single-pane window with his handgun. It is inconceivable that the glazing in a structure near the South Pole would be single-pane glass, that could be broken so easily.

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Sphere picture

Plot hole: The first time they communicate with the "entity" in the spaceship, they find a correspondence between numbers sent by the entity and letters of the alphabet. The entity presents itself as "Jerry". Later on, the entity tells Dustin Hoffman, "Stop calling me Jerry" - and then Dustin Hoffman realizes that the number-letter correspondence was wrong, and the actual name of the entity was "Harry". But if that is true, how could they have communicated without problems before? The very first word that the entity used was "hello", which would have to be displayed wrong, since it begins with an "h" and has an "e".

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Basic Instinct picture

Plot hole: This is another movie where the cops are too dumb to go out by themselves. The woman who icepicks the first victim (we see) to death would have left enough forensic evidence on the scene to convict her ten times over - skin, hair, sweat, saliva, vaginal fluid, possibly blood, and they all contain DNA in abundance. She had vigorous, sweaty sex with this man and she didn't clean up afterwards (and she couldn't have done so thoroughly enough anyway) so she's left calling cards all over the place. The killer also handled the icepick (which the police take away in an evidence bag) with bare hands - her prints would be all over it. She might as well have left a signed confession, but they can't even identify her. Sharon Stone, for instance, leaves her fingerprints (on the chair and fixtures in the police station) and her saliva (containing epithelial skin cells which are an excellent source of DNA) on the cigarette butt she discards, also in the police station. She went there of her own accord and these artifacts are legally accessible by the police. It is obvious to anyone that the women who had sex with the victim killed him, and Catherine is most certainly a suspect. They don't have enough to charge her but they would if they did a simple series of tests on the dead man's body - and if she didn't do it, that would eliminate her as a suspect. They don't even check.

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Knives Out picture

Plot hole: The killer shows up at the scheduled appointment at 8 AM. They kill the idiot blackmailer with an overdose of morphine. Remember, that morphine that supposedly killed Thrombey in 10 minutes. Marta finds the blackmailer at 10 AM...alive, and does CPR on them, keeping them alive long enough for the ambulance to come and bring them to the hospital, even if in critical condition. So we went from "kills in 10 minutes, you can't even try to save him" to "after 2 hours, you are still hanging on"? (01:56:10)

Sammo Premium member

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Suggested correction: Marta injected an absurdly large dose. A smaller overdose would not kill in 10 minutes.

I read that objection before. From 10 minutes to 2 hours there's quite a leap that the movie does not explain or address at all, if it were part of the plot they should have said why this difference, on something so time sensitive (of which they got the factual details wrong anyway). Even visually when you look at the dose injected to Harlan and the dose in the syringe for the murder, they do not look different. He even stabs her with the syringe. Which makes sense since he has no reason to leave her there with a small. Controlled overdose in her veins risking that she would be saved as it -almost - happens - it's amazing he got away with it to begin with because she is so dumb to show up for no reason in a derelict place without talking to her accomplice that passed her the toxi report, or anyone.Without a throwaway line from an investigator or anything of the sort ("but you injected her the wrong way, so she was still alive two hours after"), we are just left with an inconsistency.

Sammo Premium member

Suggested correction: You've assumed a hell of a lot! Marta said Thrombey was given a dose of 100 mg (instead 3) of Morphine and would die in 10 minutes unless given the antidote. You just asserted that "Thrombey would die in 10 minutes" as if it was fait accompli, while Thrombey didn't die of morphine overdoes at all! (He cut his own throat.) For all we know, Marta's 10-minute assessment was a worst-case-scenario assessment. Fran's age and physique, as well as Marta's CPR, helped negate the effect until the ambulance arrives. If the medics administered the antidote, it could have prolonged Fran's life. Finally, 2 hours is the time after which the viewer is informed of Fran's death, not her actual death time. Most importantly, this happens in the medical world all the time: A person who is supposed to die after 3 days lives for 16 years. There are case-by-case explanations for each one, but they baffle the medical examiners at first.

FleetCommand

Two hours is not my assumption or when the viewer is informed of her death; the killer gives the appointment to the victim at 8 AM and to Marta at 10 AM, so as I said, after 2 hours with 0 medical care on her she is still hanging on and with barely a little tap she is ready to dispense important clues. I go by what the movie says also about the 10 minutes overdose time. Of course if you tell me that baffling freak occurrences can happen all the time in medicine and that very precise statements from the movie don't matter because the character can just have gotten it wrong by over 10x and the movie does not acknowledge it at all, well, that's a very respectable opinion; mine is that fiction (a whodunnit, not a slasher flick with a killer surviving multiple gunshots and the like) is not reality and it should respond to higher standards than "I guess she was still alive somehow."

Sammo Premium member

I re-watched the movie to verify that Fran was given an appointment at 8 AM. I discovered something new: The bottle that was injected to Fran contained only 5 mg of Morphine. That's 1/20th of what was "supposedly" given to Thrombey Sr. So, yeah, 10x is OK. In fact, 20x is OK.

FleetCommand

No, no; it contains 5 mg of morphine PER ml, it's the concentration, not the total. Go back to the scene when Marta "messes up", the vials are the exact same as the one that Ransom injects (obviously, since they come from Marta's bag after all). It's new for you but I covered that already in the Factual Error about it. It's something that piles upon a previous mistake. She did not give him 100 mg of morphine because it would have emptied the vial (which is more than half full) and because a full vial of ketorlac would have killed Trombe regardless, at that concentration! The movie gets both the props and the medical facts wrong (100 mg of morphine does not even kill most patients, Harlan would have not died in 10 minutes especially since he takes safely big doses of toradol and morphine), but nothing - in the script - says that Marta or Ransom got basic medical facts wrong.

Sammo Premium member

Okay! It seems mistake after mistake is piling up. Now, it appears Fran lived 4 hours, during 2 of which she was unattended. Plus, 100 mg of Morphine from a 5 mg/ml vial amounts to 20 ml of liquid. Well, now, everything you say makes sense... or at least most of the things. On the whole, I think it was a complicated situation.

FleetCommand

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The Thing picture

Plot hole: Through this film (and its predecessor) it is established that the creature imitates its victims perfectly, having all of their knowledge and memory. At the end, when the female lead tells the male lead she knew he was human because of his earring, he reaches for the wrong ear, confirming he is The Thing. Even if The Thing couldn't reproduce the earring, it would have known which ear it was supposed to be in.

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Suggested correction: It is also established in this film that the creature cannot perfectly imitate inorganic materials; the tooth fillings, metal plate, etc. Kate knows that Carter is The Thing and asks him a trick question about his earring to confirm it. The fact that The Thing reaches for the wrong ear means that it didn't know where the earring really was because it cannot perfectly imitate inorganic materials. There is no mistake here.

THGhost

The mistake has nothing to do with The Thing not being able to imitate inorganic material. The mistake is The Thing has all the memories and thus should know which ear was pierced based on these memories.

Bishop73

This goes with my theory that he was actually human because he didn't try to assimilate her when they we're alone and far away from people, and he didn't change when he was threatened and accused which was backed by (potentially false if the theory is correct) evidence which would make it defend itself.

You're obviously wrong here. The Thing imitates the human perfectly including the memory and I'm pretty sure that if you only have one ear pierced you'd know which one is it, therefore the imitation would know.

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Halloween picture

Plot hole: We see Michael wearing the mask throughout the day, from morning at the Myers House, to mid-day outside Laurie's school, to afternoon when Tommy is leaving school, yet when Laurie and Annie see the sheriff in front of the hardware store on the way to their babysitting jobs (presumably in late afternoon or early evening), the store's alarm is still ringing and the sheriff mentions that one of the items stolen was a Halloween mask.

sam norton

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The Bourne Identity picture

Plot hole: In Paris, why does the assassin go to the ridiculous amount of trouble of swinging into the room on a rope with a machine gun when he came in from the lobby (as proved by the dead woman downstairs)? Alternatively, if his intention was always to surprise Bourne by coming in through the window, why venture downstairs at all? (00:44:07)

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Saw (2004)

Saw picture

Plot hole: Det. Kerry says at the scene of Paul's trap, "He had two hours." There is no way she could have known that. The clock simply said 3:00 and the tape specifically says "you have until 3 o'clock or this room will become your tomb". No way to know that's two hours after the fact. (00:17:30)

Ssiscool Premium member

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Suggested correction: In the flashback of the razor wire trap, it shows the clock as a few minutes past 1, so he did know he had 2 hours.

Paul knew he had 2 hours as like you said he could see a clock counting. But how did detective Kerry who made the remarks in the first place as listed in the mistake?

Ssiscool Premium member

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Wild Things picture

Plot hole: Suzie pulls out some of her teeth with a pair of heavy pliers. This would leave conspicuous tool marks on the teeth that would be visible to the naked eye, let alone under forensic examination. The conclusion would be that Suzie is missing, not dead, and the whole plot would unravel from there.

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