Best movie plot holes of all time

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Teen Wolf picture

Plot hole: Isn't it rather strange that nobody outside the Howard family's small town expresses any interest in the confirmed discovery of a new human sub-species, the only one on the planet? Wouldn't it be more likely that their little backwater town would be inundated with every press and scientific organisation on earth, and that the Howard family would be the centre of the greatest publicity carnival of all time?

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Suggested correction: I don't see this as a plot hole but as the comedic core of the movie. I mean, one of the funniest bits in the film is when Mr. Howard rather nonchalantly "comes out" for a father-and-son chat about maturing as a werewolf. This is a gag throughout the film, with locals oddly accepting werewolves in the community. It's reminiscent of the surreal humor of "The Addams Family" and "The Munsters," in which actual monsters and ghoulish psychopaths somehow fit into society.

Charles Austin Miller

Just because it's a common comedic theme doesn't mean it isn't a plot hole. Once the werewolves had gone public that town would become a media circus, but not a single reporter shows up?

Was it a plot hole that The Addams Family and The Munsters seemingly went about their lives without attracting a media circus every single time they set foot in public? Sure, people looked at these families a bit oddly, but where were the throngs of reporters when Herman Munster (a literal seven-foot-tall Frankenstein monster) casually went to work every morning? His son, Eddie, was a real werewolf but attended public school. No fuss at all. That was the heart of the humor.

Charles Austin Miller

Every fiction movie takes place in its own universe. The fact that it looks very similar to our reality doesn't mean it's the same reality. Certain tendencies or attitudes can be different. It is not a mistake as long as the world presented by the movie is consistent and the movie does not self-contradict.

Suggested correction: Probably not, because this same case is most likely to have happened to other people before - as seen in Teen Wolf Too, there are plenty of other 'werewolf' people. So it is most likely that a case like Scott's has been exposed and reported before in other locations. Also, such a small town would probably want to prevent such a thing from happening, and everyone seems a certain bit frightened of Scott as a werewolf.

Hamster Premium member

Scott doesn't even know that he is a werewolf until it "hits him in the face." It is a very closely guarded secret until Scott goes public. That would bring every biologist, anthropologist, zoologist - name the scientific discipline - running, as well as every reporter on the planet. The posting is absolutely correct.

I agree with the original posting. The entire town is shocked about Scott and certainly not familiar with other cases of werewolves.

The_Iceman

I'm going to agree. Not only is everybody surprised at the discovery that Scott is a werewolf but, the same thing happens in Teen Wolf Too. Todd believes he's just an ordinary guy until he turns into a werewolf while dancing which again, surprises everybody.

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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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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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The Day of the Jackal picture

Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunman was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured, and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime, and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.

PEDAUNT

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Broadcast News picture

Plot hole: How could Jane not be aware that Tom had only used one camera for the date rape interview, recording his fake tears later? That's the way things are done on television news shows and as an experienced, hard-bitten television producer she could not possibly be unaware of that. The reporter always records his or her reaction shots (called 'noddies') after the interviewee has left. Shooting with two cameras would involve two crews, two lighting rigs, a vision switcher and so on and so on and a straightforward interview simply would not justify such a complex and expensive set up.

PEDAUNT

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Planet of the Apes picture

Plot hole: The "video history" of the crashed USAF ship makes it very clear that the planet is uninhabited when they "landed". I can understand how a race of apes develops - they had a bunch of them on board. I can understand how a race of humans develops - they are descendants of the original crew. What I don't understand is...where the heck did all the horses come from?

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Suggested correction: Humans refer to parts of their own planet as uninhabited even though even though they are crawling with animals - vast areas of the Arctic are "uninhabited" even though polar bears and seals are found there. Were we to find a planet with nothing but primitive horses on it, we would label it as uninhabited. Apes and humans came from the crashed spaceship, horses were always there.

I agree with you Charles. Horses are native to Earth but, the Oberon lands on a planet light years from Earth so it's a big plot hole how horses from one planet could end up on another when the planet was not only uninhabited but, the Oberon was believed to be lost.

Again, the Oberon was a massive space station, genetically experimenting with many earthly lifeforms, including horses, apparently. The time/space-rift was very near Earth (Mark Wahlberg made the journey in about 25 seconds at the end of the film. Not years but seconds). The implication is that the Oberon passed through the rift, and much of the crew survived to continue their genetic research on what later became the Ape Planet. So, the Oberon initially arrived on a barren planet and introduced all of the biological and botanical species, including apes, horses, and everything else.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: According to the backstory, the space station Oberon was dedicated to genetic modification sciences. They were actually experimenting with animal genes in the safety of space (which kind of makes sense). Given that the Oberon was a truly gigantic space station, it's not too much of a speculation that they were experimenting on many different types of animals (not just apes). When the Oberon crashed on Ashlar, half its crew was killed, but half survived with a number of ship's systems still functional, and they continued their genetic research, possibly producing a number of Earthly species on the otherwise uninhabited planet.

Charles Austin Miller

That's just a wild guess. There hasn't been a single mention of horses on board the Oberon. Even if there were, why only horses?

lionhead

Wild guess? The Oberon was experimenting in genetic modification, which implies a broad range of research...and not just on great apes. The Oberon was gigantic enough to be an Ark.

Charles Austin Miller

So where are all the other animals?

lionhead

Exactly. Where are the birds, lions, lizards, etc?

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones picture

Plot hole: When Amidala and some of the clone troopers get blown out of the ship chasing Dooku, later the trooper approaches Amidala and asks about making their way back to the front lines, but Amidala says they should go to the hangar to help Obi-Wan and Anakin. How did she know about the hangar, having left the ship quite some time before it arrived at the final destination? (02:05:50)

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