Best movie plot holes of all time

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Top Gun: Maverick picture

Plot hole: Any strike on a military facility by incoming aircraft would first take out the SAM sites with missiles to clear the way for said aircraft to operate freely. After all, the Tomahawks fly right past the attacking planes and take out the runway with no issues at all - no reason they couldn't hit the high and exposed SAMs.

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Ferdinand picture

Plot hole: How does the little girl Nina know Ferdinand's name if only the animals can communicate with each other? They're all calling him Ferdinand before she "names" him that.

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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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Kong: Skull Island picture

Plot hole: The idea that Marlow would simply take a taxi to his wife's address after being missing in action for thirty odd years is stupid beyond belief. He was on a ship sailing from the central Pacific for days and those ships have radios! The US military would have known he was coming. Someone, somewhere would have notified the authorities that a US serviceman long thought dead was actually alive and on his way home and his wife and son would have been there on the docks to greet him, not standing slack-jawed in the kitchen dropping trays of drinks on the floor when he turned up! What would have happened if she had remarried? Or moved house? Or she was dead? Don't tell me the US military didn't know he was coming - he is wearing a brand new uniform, clean and pressed.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: The implication is that Marlow went through an extensive debrief and nobody had contacted his family until the debrief had concluded, based on the top secret nature of the mission. As you say, the fact he has a brand new uniform suggests that he has contacted the US Military prior to ever contacting his family. The fact that his wife would have moved and re-married is irrelevant, he still would have made an attempt to contact her so he could see his son.

BaconIsMyBFF

And they wouldn't have contacted her after the debrief had been completed? What utter nonsense. Allowing him to just turn up on the doorstep without notifying his wife first is an utterly irresponsible and even dangerous act. She could have fainted with shock or even had a heart attack. She would absolutely, definitely, 100% carved in stone, been advised of her husband's survival and return.

Since we know very little about the completely fictional organization Monarch, we obviously cannot say they would "carved in stone" do anything. In order to be a mistake in the movie, it would have to be something that is impossible. A secret government organization that doesn't even exist in real life not behaving the way the real military would is not impossible. At least not by the rules set forth in the film. It's perhaps improbable but it is most certainly not impossible.

BaconIsMyBFF

It is an inviolable, carved in stone, fur lined, ocean going, top of the list rule that the next of kin are immediately advised of the change of status of military personnel. MIA, now confirmed dead? They'd be the first to know. MIA, now confirmed to be alive, same outcome. His wife would know he was on that ship coming home.

This is true in real life but in the fictional world of the movie Monarch is a secret, government agency that has some degree of control over the military. You can't apply the same rules as in real life in this situation.

BaconIsMyBFF

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Die Hard 2 picture

Plot hole: The only reason the terrorists' plot can work is that the airports around Dulles are all closed to landings because of the violent snowstorm. If there were no storm, the pilots of the airliners in the holding pattern would simply divert to nearby airports when they started running low on fuel. If they were able to do that, the whole plot would simply fall apart. How were the terrorists able to count on the storm happening on the very day General Esperanza's flight was due to land? They didn't have any influence over the date of his flight. How did they know the storm would be so bad that all airports would be closed - except Dulles? I don't think they had any way of predicting the weather quite that accurately, and If the storm hadn't hit or had been even slightly less severe the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternate landing sites, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down as soon as they knew Esperanza had killed the pilot and taken over the flight.

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Suggested correction: The terrorists in the film planned extensively for this operation, but the storm occurring may have just been a coincidence for them. They may also have had the plan waiting for a perfect opportunity, like a snowstorm. In the beginning of the movie, there's a news story on while the Colonel is exercising nude. The story says Esperanza's extradition has been long and drawn out, until a phone call from..." and he cuts the TV off. Given his connections, Colonel Stewart may well have been able to arrange a State Department call the week of a predicted snow storm. Esperanza's adherents may also have been able. Another scenario they may have had is to take the Air Traffic Controllers hostage (as they did) and have the other aircraft diverted for a supposed emergency, but the snowstorm worked out. Whatever the case, that element of the plot is an interesting discussion, not a mistake.

If the storm hadn't hit the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternates, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on the Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down.

That bothered me too when I first saw this in theatres. The chances of it snowing in D.C. on any particular day are pretty low, and the plan falls apart without it. The only way to 'fix' this is to assume that when the film was originally written, it was set in New York City. This makes more sense thematically...with the original set in Los Angeles. But at some point, probably late in the production, they changed it to D.C. for some reason, and made it fit as best they could.

The snowstorm was not part of the plan. Early on when the group of terrorists is sitting around the table about to exchange the package, Cochran is listening to a weather report and states that a huge storm is approaching, which makes the other men smile and one of them responds "God loves the infantry." The terrorists could still crash planes without the snow storm because they could impersonate the tower. The planes that are circling overhead are the planes that didn't have enough fuel to be diverted to another airport and that has nothing to do with a snow storm. The blizzard was simply fortuitous for the terrorists.

BaconIsMyBFF

The airliners we see could easily glide to any one of seven nearby airports from the airspace over Dulles, let alone fly there when fuel began running low.

That is a separate issue (and is indeed a mistake in the film) that doesn't really have anything to do with the blizzard. This film acts as if Baltimore Washington International or Richmond International Airport don't exist.

BaconIsMyBFF

And since they do, it is both a plot hole and a factual error. If they had called their fictional airport Springfield International, fine, but they didn't. They identified it as Dulles International which is within easy flying - or gliding - time to half a dozen other airports.

This is possible that other airports were closed due to bad weather.

Which necessitates the terrorists knowing that! They had to know the storm was coming for their plan to work. The stranded airlines could easily have diverted to an alternative even if that meant gliding, and they could do so without consulting air traffic control.

The terrorist obviously knew that. They are very arrogant and planned everything very accurately. They knew that other airports are closed because of the bad weather.

The airports were closed AFTER Esperanza's flight took off. The storm is an essential part of the terrorist's plans. Storms like the one we see can can diminish very rapidly or veer away from their original course (I have seen both happen) and cannot, ever, be counted on to the meticulous extent the terrorists do.

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The Day of the Jackal picture

Plot hole: When the French conclude - incorrectly - that Charles Calthrop is the Jackal, they contact the British authorities and obtain his file photograph from the passport office. The photograph is of Edward Fox in character as the Jackal - but it shouldn't be! The Jackal and Calthrop have no connection. The Jackal never used his identity and did not apply for a false passport in his name. The photo should have been of Edward Hardwicke in character as Charles Calthrop, who appears in the closing minutes of the film. The two actors do not look anything like each other.

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Ocean's Eight picture

Plot hole: When Sarah Paulsen pulls the necklace out of the water, the necklace clasp is obviously closed. Since the circumference of the necklace is too small to fit over the top of Anne Hathaway's head, why would anyone believe that it fell off her when she was running to the bathroom? The only way that could have happened is if the clasp (which we were earlier told can only be opened by a magnet) had opened. The trained security guards wouldn't have suspected something wasn't right about a closed necklace falling off over of her? They were following her. They saw that at no point did she lower her head on her way to the bathroom for the necklace to fall off over her head to begin with. It also could not have fallen off her when she was vomiting into the toilet in the bathroom since the clasp was closed. (01:18:25)

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Olympus Has Fallen picture

Plot hole: The fact that a five minute timer starts after the three Cerberus codes are entered defeats the purpose of the program. If they program was made to destroy their own nuke warheads in case of a misfire you would expect them to be destroyed as soon as all three codes are in. (01:38:20)

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Bolt picture

Plot hole: At the start of the movie, a great deal is made of the boom mic that enters the shot. This is ridiculous, because Bolt's view would not be restricted to what was onscreen, he'd have a perfect view of the person holding the boom mic (as evidenced by it not being stable). There's no possibility of him not seeing the person holding the mic either. As Bolt completely and utterly believes the world he lives in, and thinks the situations he finds himself in (saving Penny) are real, someone holding a boom mic would break the illusion for him. In all instances in the movie where an outside force (i.e. a dog handler) interacts with him, Bolt never gets to see the person handling him (handler approaches from behind), the boom mic operator however is literally right in front of him.

GalahadFairlight

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Suggested correction: He wasn't paying attention and considering that his focus was only on the "action", how the hell would he notice a boom mic when he's trying to protect Penny? His "reality" is never broken even AFTER he's in his trailer.

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The Living Daylights picture

Plot hole: Necros had absolutely no way of knowing that Bond and Saunders had arranged to meet at the cafe when they did, and wouldn't have had anywhere near enough time to track them down and set up his elaborate booby trap. Saunders only suggested the meeting place and time a few hours earlier, and it was kept strictly between him and Bond. The scene in Tangier where Whittaker tells Necros to kill another British agent takes place on the same day Bond arrived in Vienna; meaning that Necros got from Tangier to Vienna (a 5 hour-plus flight), tracked down Saunders, acquired the materials to booby trap the cafe doors (or had planned this ahead of time - unlikely) and set the trap up well in advance of he and Bond getting to the fairground. There was nowhere near enough time for all of that to happen without Necros having psychic knowledge of Saunders' movements.

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Hollow Man picture

Plot hole: There must be a lot of dumb scientists in Sebastian's lab. While defibrillating the invisible gorilla, (s)he becomes completely visible for a moment. However, not once do the scientists consider that applying a mild electrical shock to the system renders the invisible animal visible again - that electricity may be the key to the whole invisibility problem. They don't even comment upon the fact that the gorilla does become visible.

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Con Air picture

Plot hole: The convicts remove the radar transponder from the Conair aircraft and put it aboard a tour plane to distract their pursuers. That won't work. By law the tour plane will have a working radar transponder of its own, and two working transponders that close together will show up on radar as a collision. Air traffic controllers would immediately alert emergency services who would, obviously, wonder how two aircraft that had collided had managed to stay in the air. Nobody disconnects the first transponder - Pinball carelessly tosses the second transponder under the rear seat of the aircraft (the implication being that it continues to operate, perhaps on backup battery power). He doesn't disconnect the original transponder either - Swamp Thing, a skilled pilot, does that. There is no time for him to do any of this before he is stopped by the female security guard anyway.

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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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Midnight Run picture

Plot hole: At the end of the film Mardukas reveals that he has been wearing a body belt packed with cash - "in the neighbourhood of three hundred thousand dollars" - ever since Jack detained him in New York. Are we to assume that Jack Walsh, an experienced, hard-bitten ex-police officer, now a bounty hunter who routinely chases down violent and armed bail absconders who would kill him without a second thought, didn't even perform a perfunctory search of Mardukas when he detained him? This man used to work for the Mafia! What if he was carrying a weapon? A body belt with three hundred one thousand dollar bills in it would be uncovered by even the most casual pat down.

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Guns of Navarone picture

Plot hole: Maria describes in lurid detail how Anna was arrested by the Germans and tortured by being severely whipped, leaving her with gruesome scars all over her back. She also says that Anna hasn't spoken a word to anyone since she escaped from captivity. How, then, does Maria (or anyone else) know about the scars? Nobody saw them (they don't exist) and Anna obviously didn't tell anyone about them.

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Suggested correction: She is probably able to write.

This correction is too speculative and offers no in-film evidence or further proof.

Bishop73

Anna was a school teacher.

Wasn't she a school teacher? So probably could write.

If she "wrote" about the scars wouldn't someone want to see them, perhaps get her to a doctor? Making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them.

Your assuming a lot like when the Germans release here. She could have "recovered" and had a fit anytime anyone touched her.

As was noted above, making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them. You cannot 'recover' from scars. It is ridiculous to think that nobody ever thought to get Anna to a doctor for treatment.

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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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Unstoppable picture

Plot hole: Had one or more locomotives coupled onto the real runaway's front engine, or even just been pushed by it, anyone aboard the "rescue" engine could have just walked to the unoccupied ones and shut them down - no copters or fireballs required.

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Suggested correction: Not necessarily. Some engines may not have a rear cab access (like Frank/Will's engine had). And even if the rescue engine did have a rear cab access 777's engine only had a side access stair which at the speed it was going is more difficult to climb over from the engine in front of it.

Actually 777's catwalk goes across the front, from side stair to side stair, but someone would have to leap over a rail or a chain to get onto it from the other engine. Why would there be stairs on the right side unless there was a catwalk to get to the door on the left side?

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Flight of the Phoenix picture

Plot hole: This film is set in 2004. The thought that no search and rescue operations would be put in place after an aircraft disappeared from radar during a routine flight is absurd. The Chinese are paranoid about intrusion on their territory and the downed aircraft would have been located by a simple satellite search within hours of it crashing. Chinese military satellites crisscross the Gobi and they are equipped with optical cameras, microwave and infrared detectors and radar, so spotting a metal aircraft on the ground would be simple even if it was hundreds of kilometres off course. The crew would have been visited by Chinese military helicopters (and probably arrested!) as soon as the storm had died down.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: The Chinese government, for whatever reason, may have denied there was any crash at all if it suited their purposes, and the oil company that owned the plane would have little recourse. The Chinese have done this before. For the purpose of the plot, the survivors decided that they had to save themselves rather than wait for rescue and that was completely plausible.

Suggested correction: It's now 2021, and we still can't find Malaysian Airlines MH370. So this suggestion of planes always being found is laughable.

stiiggy

MH370 crashed into the ocean, and in fact some wreckage has been found. The Chinese military does not have the south Indian Ocean under satellite surveillance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unlike the Gobi desert where a crashed plane would be spotted within hours of it going missing.

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Despicable Me 2 picture

Plot hole: Lucy jumps from the airliner and flies her hang-glider straight to Eduardo/El Macho's Cinco de Mayo party to find Gru. How did she know Gru would be there? He had no intention of going and only did so after he was pestered into it by the girls on the very night of the party, so he couldn't have told her himself. Shouldn't she have gone to his house instead? (01:09:50)

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Suggested correction: Lucy is hang-gliding into the town from about 12,000 feet. Gru's bizarre car would be visible for miles. She would see it parked outside El Macho's and realise instantly that he (and therefore, the girls) were at the party. If she was heading for Gru's house it would be a simple thing to change course in midair.

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Die Another Day picture Die Another Day mistake picture

Plot hole: In the pre title sequence James Bond travels in a hovercraft along the dirt road which is full of land mines. Soon after reaching the waterfall at the end, trucks drive up along the road he just drove in on to capture him. As there was only one road in to the waterfall complex the landmines must have all disappeared, as earlier on in that sequence we are informed that the only way that the North Koreans can avoid the mines along that road is by hovercraft. (00:12:05)

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