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The Negotiator (1998) Poster

Goofs

Errors in geography 

Although the movie is set in Illinois, two of the volumes in Niebaum's office are from Ohio Jurisprudence.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

The waveform being shown of the audio file being played is way off in comparison to the actual audio itself.
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Continuity 

When Danny and his partner first talk in the car outside the party, there is no rear view mirror in the car.
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The taped segment of the conversation between Danny and Nate before being interrupted is different from the actual scene at the beginning of the film.
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At the end of the film, Danny is loaded into the ambulance correctly (head first). As it drives off, we see him and his wife in the ambulance and his body is now in the opposite direction, as if loaded feet first.
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At the end of the fight between Danny and the corrupt cops in Internal Affairs, Danny looks at them when he hears one of them has run out of bullets. When he looks at them, the door is pulled wide open, but the next shot shows them just pulling it open.
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Errors in geography 

The building where Danny holes up is at Wacker and Clark; police cars seen, ostensibly "to the scene," are actually speeding south on Wabash at Van Buren - a point already south of the building.
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The ambulance at the end of the movie is an AMR unit. AMR does not operate in the City of Chicago (nor Cook County). That should have been either a Chicago Fire Department or Superior Ambulance.
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Factual errors 

The sharpshooter puts a laser dot on Roman's head and the officers in the helicopter light Roman up with about eight lasers while he's standing in the window. Police sharpshooters don't use laser sights (i.e. red dot on target). They're good enough to not need them and don't want to tip off the suspect that he's in their sights. Any cops who do have laser sights (which is unlikely, but conceivable) don't put them on the target and keep them there. The sights are for rapidly getting the gun on target - not replacing proper sight picture.
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Police negotiators and entry teams conduct their activities independent of one another so that the negotiator doesn't inadvertently let the hostage taker know what the entry team is doing.
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Obviously the last shot in the ambulance is to show the scene and the patient leaving the place, but a patient inside an ambulance rides with the head to the front.
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Several vehicles in this movie that belong to the Chicago Police Department have red and blue lightbars. All Chicago Police vehicles are required to have all blue lightbars.
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Miscellaneous 

When Roman and Sabian is browsing Niebaum's computer at his house the Address bar doesn't match the content of the other windows. The address bar says C:\niebaum\office files\ongoing investigations\*.* while the All Folders sidebar shows that C:\Office files\Accounts is selected. C:\ is labeled Niebaum, there is no C:\niebaum\ folder. While browsing A:\Ongoing Investigations the explorer window says (A:) - Office files - Ongoing Investigations which doesn't match the contents of the All Folders sidebar. Furthermore, although A: is full of documents they're marked with the windows icon, proof that no program has been assigned for opening or editing the documents as they were most likely done in haste.
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Revealing mistakes 

During one of the early negotiating scenes, the clock in the negotiating room shows early afternoon when it is clearly night time.
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When Palermo is told to take the shot, a closeup on his eye blinking through the scope is a stand in. This is evident by the brim and strap of a helmet and facial wrinkles that Palermo doesn't have. He has smoother skin and wears a backwards baseball cap.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

While looking at the recordings from the wire in Nathan's badge, we see Rudy go to the one on the 12th and play that one. Danny then tells him to play the one the night before Nathan died, on the 12th. We don't see Rudy go to it, but a different recording is played.
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Continuity 

When Danny is lifted into the ambulance while on the stretcher, his feet are towards the back. Once inside the ambulance, his head is towards the back.
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After Roman releases Frost, and Sabian escorts him outside the building, a quick shot of an applauding crowd shows rain falling. Other shots of the surrounding area show no signs of falling rain.
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Once Frost goes outside of Niebaum's house to find he has confessed over the radio, Danny and Sabian are at the doorway, but a few shots later, they have just emerged from the hallway.
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When Roman and Sabian are hiding on opposite sides at the end of the hallway at Niebaum's home, Frost enters the home. When viewed from a mirror that Sabian is holding, the door closes, with the doorknob on the left side. Argento is on the left and Hellman is on his right. In true camera view, the doorknob is also on the left side of the front door.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Frost thinks he and Chris have an agreement, he destroys the two floppy disks. When later Chris and the wounded Danny appear behind Frost in the door, Chris is holding a perfectly intact disc in his hand. However, it's possible the discs Chris gave Frost were only decoys while he kept the real one on him.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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