Best thriller movie plot holes of all time

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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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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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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 gunmen 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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Die Another Day pictureDie 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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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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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.

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The Mummy Returns picture

Plot hole: Anubis Warriors can only be killed by being beheaded. But during the final battle, you see several are killed by simply being stabbed.

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Ocean's Eleven picture

Plot hole: Where do the flyers come from that are in the bags that are carried out of the vault and into the van? Danny and Linus couldn't have taken them down there and there is no room with the Chinese man. They are carried out to the van before the SWAT team appears, which means they'd have to have been in the vault to start with? In the commentary by Steven Soderbergh he acknowledges that there's no explanation. (01:35:05)

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Spider-Man 2 picture

Plot hole: Harry tells Doc Ock that in order to find Spider-Man he must find Peter first. Doc Ock finds Peter with Mary Jane in the cafe and throws a car through the window straight at them, then later throws Peter against a brick wall. Any normal person would've been killed instantly (or very badly injured), and Doc Ock doesn't yet know that Peter is Spider-Man. Given that Peter is his only lead on Spider-Man, it makes no sense that Doc Ock would try to kill him.

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Suggested correction: Doc Ock is being controlled by the arms. They aren't behaving rationally.

Jason Hoffman
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Charlie's Angels picture

Plot hole: In the Redstar mainframe, we are told that the floor of the vault will trigger the alarm if it receives more than 0.25 seconds of contact (apparently even with the security checks). What would be the point of the bosses going through all of those security measures if they would just set the alarm off anyway? Surely once the girls have faked the fingerprint and retina scans, they don't then need to flip across the floor! (00:33:55)

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The Cell picture

Plot hole: Peter goes into Carl's mind to save Catherine. When he's in there he sees the tank with the water nymph. On the tank are strange symbols which provide the FBI with the clue needed to find the latest victim. Makes sense so far. But, go back to the scene just after the FBI have captured the comatose killer and are looking in his basement. The FBI are looking at the contraption that the killer uses to suspend himself over the victim. On the contraption is the same symbol seen later on the water nymph's tank. Why didn't the FBI follow up the symbol then?

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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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Westworld picture

Plot hole: There is a barely credible explanation for the fact that a guest cannot be injured or killed by being shot in Westworld, but what about the vicious fistfight we see in the bar? People are injured or killed in bar brawls all the time, and this once was incredibly violent. How do they prevent guests from being injured or killed by the cutting and stabbing weapons we see in Medieval and Roman World? Guests are supposed to fight each other, not just robots - they cannot be 'programmed' to lose! Delos is going be sued into bankruptcy within a week of the first guest arriving. Quite apart from the legal position, think about the bad publicity! Who is going to pay the huge fees demanded by the parks owners when the media is constantly reporting on the guests who wound up dead or with life changing injuries?

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Suggested correction: The explanation given in the TV show would seem to easily apply to the original film as well: guests can be injured, but not to the point that it would leave a lasting mark. The park has access to futuristic medical techniques, so they can heal most non-life-threatening injuries easily. Also the guests almost certainly sign waivers, so in the event of serious injury the park isn't liable.

Jason Hoffman

Suggested correction: It's easy to nitpick the factual details of "Westworld," the screenplay of which was written on-the-fly on a fairly limited budget, even by early 1970s' standards. Author Michael Crichton (who also wrote "The Andromeda Strain," "The Terminal Man," "Congo," "Sphere," "Jurassic Park" and several other technological thrillers) himself acknowledged that Westworld was more a visual story (like a comic book) than a cerebral piece of science fiction, and he learned on this movie that suspension of disbelief outweighed technical or even factual details, if he wanted to expedite the story in an hour-and-a-half. Crichton said he was having more fun and devoting more time to shooting the film than actually writing it, comparing the experience to playing cowboys and indians as a child. So, yes, Westworld is not much more than an adult fantasy with a number of plot holes that we are supposed to gleefully overlook, rather than analyze.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: Westworld ensure that any interactions with the robots are entirely safe for the patrons of the park. They cannot prevent humans fighting amongst themselves, just as Disneyland can't prevent people fighting there. People are also injured or die all the time in horse-riding accidents, but that won't lead to people suing Westworld. Due to the nature of the park, all the guests likely sign a waiver stating that any injuries are not the fault of the park.

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Capricorn One picture

Plot hole: The "death" of the three astronauts and the requirement to then fake the whole scenario of the failed mission was obviously unplanned - it came about because of an unexpected computer glitch which reported that they had burned up on reentry, causing a mad scramble to cover up the fake mission and kill the astronauts. Obviously it was planned to have the astronauts "return" to Earth as heroes after their supposed trip to Mars, maintaining their deception (under threat if necessary) for the rest of their lives. One problem. Every scientist on earth would be champing at the bit to get their hands on a sample of Martian rock. Samples would be worth billions, worth far more than Moon rocks are worth today. How was NASA going to explain they didn't have any? They could not possibly fake the rocks - Martian soil and rocks would have a number of identifiable characteristics that a smart first year college student could identify. Using Martian meteorites collected from the Earth's surface won't work, either - prolonged exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would leave tell tale weathering and chemical changes that would be instantly detectable. NASA have painted themselves into a corner and that is not something they would have failed to realise well in advance.

PEDAUNT
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Suggested correction: They could use meteors that had landed on Earth. This is one of the theories for the "faked" moon landing, that they either created the moon rocks from scratch, or collected meteors. As for the death of the astronauts, that's not a plot hole, it's the plot of the movie; the powers that be wanted the men to fake everything and return as heroes. When they wouldn't play along, it was decided they needed to be eliminated.

Jason Hoffman
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Jurassic Park III picture

Plot hole: The spinosaurus manages to smash through a metal reinforced wall designed to stop dinosaurs getting past it without too much effort, yet it can't get through a wooden gate secured by some metal bars. It makes no sense.

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Suggested correction: The Spinosaurus used its full body force to smash the fence. The gate, being a smaller target, was too small for the Spinosaurus to use its full body force.

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Body Heat picture

Plot hole: Considering the incredibly elaborate plans Maddy makes to have her husband murdered after having him sign a will she knows is invalid so he dies intestate and she - as his widow - gets his entire fortune, you'd think she would have worked out one little fact - Edmund Walker does not die intestate. It is established in the film that the dud will written by Ned Racine replaces a previous, valid will which bequeaths half his fortune to his niece Heather. When Racine's will is declared invalid under Florida law the previous will takes precedence and Heather and Maddy split the fortune. In no way will Maddy get the lot.

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Double Jeopardy picture

Plot hole: For a convicted murder 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.

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Law Abiding Citizen picture

Plot hole: Inmediately after Jamie Foxx finds the bomb in the city hall, and he says, "We don't tell the mayor anything", we see Gerard Butler arriving to his property next to the prison, and finally he enters his jail cell. So, in the time between Gerard Butler's arrival to the property and his entrance to the jail cell, Jamie Foxx thought about a plan, picked up the bomb, passed through the traffic and security checkpoints, talked to the warden to get access to the prison, entered solitary, handcuffed the bomb, and still had time to wait for Gerard Butler's arrival.

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Tomorrow Never Dies picture

Plot hole: In the final showdown, when Bond is fighting with Stamper, the girl is wrapped in a chain hanging from a crane and dropped in the sea. After the boat blows to bits, the chain continues to hang down even though there's nothing holding it. It even keeps hanging after Bond's swum down to untie her. What's keeping it there? Do all stealth battleships come with buoyant chains? With both arms at least partially free, why doesn't she just climb back up the chain?

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Now You See Me 2 picture

Plot hole: Prior to the final show, when the horsemen are performing separately at different locations in London. [Scene X] Jack is busy with his card swap trick. While others are doing their tricks too, [Scene Y] McKinney is believed to be tricked once again by his face sharing brother at another location... Dylan gets a call and then he calls everyone to wrap up and meet somewhere. [Scene Z] Jack also wraps up and leaves the place... OK. Later after the expose in final show McKinney tells the story about how Jack successfully hypnotized his brother [in the Scene Y]. How could Jack be at two different locations at the same time? He was performing somewhere else when he did hypnotism at another location and then wraps up his trick back where he started.

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