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Behind Enemy Lines (2001) Poster

Goofs

Continuity 

When the F/A-18 is being pursued by the missiles, the ground below is covered by snow, as well as the ground below where Burnett and Stackhouse were forced to eject. However, on the ground, there is no snow. It is highly unlikely that Burnett and Stackhouse would have landed in an area that naturally does not receive snow, as the Serbs that shot them down were not so far off. This can be evidenced by the surrounding snowy terrain of where Sasha received orders to shoot down the jet.
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Anachronisms 

When the football is lost over the side of the aircraft carrier, Chris yells "Wilson!". The movie takes place in 1995, and this is a reference to the movie "Cast Away", which wasn't released until 2000.
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The F/A-18-E/F Super Hornets didn't begin sea trials until January 1997 onboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
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The movie is set in 1995, but a pilot mentions John Denver's death which was on 12 October 1997.
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The boy in the truck sings Puff Daddy's song "Public Enemy 2000", which was released in 1999.
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At the beginning of movie, Stackhouse and Burnett are talking and one of them mentions Britney Spears. She was relatively unknown until 1998.
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The enlisted uniforms in 1995 were the traditional dungaree uniform (denim bellbottom trouser, flat-lying collar). The utility style uniforms (straight-leg trousers, stand up collars) worn by the Vinson's enlisted personnel weren't phased in until 1999.
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The license plates in the pick-up truck are in the form that were started to be used just in 1998, while the story is in 1995.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In the scene where Burnett sets up a trap for the Tracker, Burnett is running towards him while firing his pistol. During this sequence the ejection of a spent casing can be seen (as well as the slide moving to the rear to eject) but there is no gunshot. The gunshot and subsequent muzzle flash happens noticeably after.
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Character error 

Burnett, while on the run, drank his last sip of fluid from the plastic bottle and tossed it onto the ground. That would never had happened in real life. He would have buried it so as not to be easily tracked.
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In the final battle, the Admiral tells the Captain to fast rope to retrieve Burnett. Fast roping is a rapid insertion technique where a soldier has no attachment to the rope. He is simply sliding down it all the way to the ground.
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Burnett is sent to a rendezvous point for evacuation. He radios in when he reaches it and informs Reigart of this fact. However, when the radio contact goes down, Reigart orders his staff to "find out where he is" and triangulate his position, even though they know where he is: at the rendezvous point they told him to go to.
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The announcer at the beginning credits the "Cincinatti Accords" with keeping the peace. The actual name was the "Dayton Accords," since the agreement was signed at Wright-Patterson Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio. (See trivia for more details regarding this topic)
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Burnett moves to the top of a mountainous ridge, in order to get better reception to communicate with his carrier. In doing so, he skylines himself at the top, i.e., he allows his silhouette to be visible above the ridge, making it easy for him to be seen from the surrounding countryside. As hostile forces are actively searching for him, it is highly unlikely that he would have forgotten his training and pulled such a bonehead move.
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When Burnett is interrogated by Muslim guerrillas, he claims he is a soldier that was shot down. Given that Burnett is a navigator, he should not have referred to himself as a soldier, but as a navigator, as soldiers are clearly in most cases ground infantry, and not flying jets.
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Admiral Reigart references a letter Burnett received dated "September 23rd." The Admiral then says Burnett received another letter "a month later for something involving Chinese New Year." This would place the Chinese New Year in late October. In reality, the Chinese New Year falls in either January or February.
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When Adm Reigart is discussing the situation with Adm Piquet he says to Adm Piquet about a reporter being on his "Boat" a Carrier is always called a "Ship" not a boat.
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Master Chief Tom O'Malley is wearing the wrong surface warfare insignia on his uniform. As a senior enlisted man he should be wearing an enlisted surface warfare specialist pin which is silver, not the gold surface warfare officer insignia.
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Continuity 

As Burnett is being chased through the forest towards the mass grave, he is running full speed (with a decent head start), while the Serbian soldiers are walking at a slow pace. Yet, when he reaches the mass grave the soldiers arrive a very short time later.
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The wingtip missiles on the F/A-18 disappear and reappear several times.
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When the fighter is shot down the entire front end is clearly separated. Later on when the Serbians are examining the crash site you can see the remains of a complete fighter in the background.
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Just before Chris Burnett gets on the helicopter, he has blood stains on his face. On the chopper, the blood is gone. When he gets off the chopper onto the carrier deck, the blood is back.
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In the opening scene, an aircraft is being readied for launch from the starboard bow cat. However, the type of aircraft being readied switches between an F-14 and an F/A-18, depending on the camera angle.
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When Burnett first spots activity on his screen, the plane is a few thousand feet above the ground. Yet on his scope screen it says they are over 20,000 feet up.
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After the missile hits the jet, Burnett is the first to eject. When Stackhouse is ejecting, he is seen struggling to do so as the front part of the jet he is in is swinging around to the ground at high speed, yet after he manages to eject he is seen descending to the ground next to Burnett. Given the amount of time in between Burnett's and Stackhouse's ejection, the two would have certainly been a long way apart while descending to the ground.
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The rank insignia change regularly on Reigart's uniform, despite his not having been obviously promoted.
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The level of the Coke that Chris Burnett drinks in the back of the pick-up truck increases as the ride progresses.
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When Stackhouse and Burnett decide to fly off-course during their recon flight, the fighter turns to the left, but when the crew of the aircraft carrier are tracking their flight on the computer map, it appears that the fighter turns to the right.
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When Sasha is looking for Burnett near the statue, the cap for his scope disappears in head on close-up shots and reappears later.
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When Burnett is waving down the truck to stop you can see the skid marks already on the ground from previous takes.
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As Burnett walks away from the mass grave, he is covered in mud as he hid within the mass grave to avoid being captured by Serbian soldiers. However, in later scenes no trait of mud is seen on Burnett.
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When the three helicopters are returning to the carrier, there is a scene showing two of them veering off to the left. Both helicopters in the scene have one engine. Then the view changes, showing all three helicopters from rear and all there have two engines.
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When Burnett and Stackhouse are flying on their mission, they get a hit "over there in the forest to the left." However, when the camera pans to show where the pilots are looking, the direction of travel would have them looking out and to the right.
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When Stackhouse ejects, the spring apparently cuts through his left leg. However, when he's on the ground, the field dressings are applied to his right leg.
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In the ejection scene when the chute deploys and the camera is looking up, it shows a round canopy deploying. The camera then cuts to both chutes deploying and they are both RAM air (square) canopies.
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Early on, when Burnett reports to Reigart for his dressing down, the left lapel on his coat is turned up. Later on in the scene, it's turned down like his right lapel, Considering that he's standing at attention before a superior officer with arms locked at his side, he would not have had a chance to adjust it.
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In the scene when Burnett is walking through the mine field between the buildings, he is hit by several mine blasts at fairly close range. The first blast killed the enemy soldier at nearly the same range and with only one blast.
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Immediately after the aborted carrier takeoff scene at the beginning, Burnett and Stackhouse exit the plane to go toward the front of the ship to "kick" the football. In the next shot, as they are still walking only seconds later, the plane has completely disappeared and the catapult shuttle is all the way at the front of the ship, even though it never fired.
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Burnett and others are riding in the back of a pickup truck that comes under fire. In a long-distance shot, the truck tips onto its left side and slides a considerable distance. However, in a subsequent medium-length shot the truck is shown coming to a stop and it is only then that the passengers fall out the back.
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At the beginning of the film, when Burnett sets up the football for the catapult, he sets it up with the laces facing away from the catapult. When the catapult strikes the ball, it hits the laces, indicating the ball was turned around. We never saw Burnett do this, and there wasn't much time nor reason for him to do so.
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When Reigart hands a paper to Burnett, it is partially crumpled. After Burnett takes it from him it is no longer crumpled.
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Admiral Reigart's tie is alternately neatly tied/loosened between shots when he is interviewing Lt. Chris Burnett on the aircraft carrier.
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When the SAM missile launcher halts, the drivers, who have their heads sticking up, get down and pull the hatches closed, but in the next shot, the hatches are open and their heads are still sticking up.
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Crew or equipment visible 

In some of the overhead shots of the jets, studio lights are reflected on the cockpit glass.
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Errors in geography 

When Burnett sits in the back of the pick-up truck you can see yellow road marking lines. In Bosnia, where the story takes place, these lines are white, not yellow.
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Throughout the movie, Reigart and the media claim Burnett and Stackhouse were shot down over southern Bosnia even though they were shot down in the Srebrenica region, which is the easternmost point in Bosnia.
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When Burnett fell in the mass grave, after Serbian soldiers retreat, the Serbs have memory flashes about the killing of civilians. There is a Croatian badge on one of the Serbian soldiers. (Stock footage from Savior is involved.)
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Factual errors 

In the beginning Burnett uses a "shuttle kick" to kick a football. Even though the pressure can be adjusted a shuttle kick would destroy a football as opposed to launching it into the air (which is exactly what happened when they attempted it during filming).
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During the ejection sequence, Stackhouse is not ejected after Burnett. The ejection sequence automatically ejects both pilots and he would not need to pull the handle again to eject, nor to deploy the parachute. Also he has his arms outstretched beyond the cockpit which would make them flail in the extreme wind. This is not proper ejection posture, as he should keep his hands on the handle to prevent injury.
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During the ejection sequence, the two seats collide with each other. Ejection seat systems are designed so that the seats will direct themselves away from one another to prevent this.
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Just before the first SAM missile is fired at the plane, Burnett says, "we're being painted," indicating that the enemy is tracking them on radar, meaning the missiles fired at them are radar tracking missiles. Later when, they release flares and then mention that they need a bigger heat decoy that they supposedly get from the exploding fuel tank that destroys the first missile. Radar missiles would be spoofed by using chaff to disrupt the radar lock. Flares or a "heat decoy" would only be effective against a heat-seeking missile.
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No missile in existence would be capable of chasing the F/A-18 as it is portrayed in the film. A missiles rocket motor only holds enough fuel for one pass at a target. The second missile fired in the film flies through a fireball, completes a loop, and continues to chase the F/A-18 the way a dog chases a cat. In reality, the missile would have either exploded the first time it got close to the fighter, or simply ran out of fuel.
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On an F-18, the survival radio and beacon are located inside a seat pan underneath the pilot. After clearing the cockpit canopy, the ejection seat separates, but the seat pan falls 26' where a life raft is actuated and survival items are revealed, all of it attached to the pilot via lanyard. The beacon, having gone off at ejection, would still be attached to the pilot. He would have not needed to get to the beacon at the end because it would still be in his hands.
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The rescue helicopter dispatched to rescue Burnett is clearly a Russian built Mil Mi-8/17. This helicopter is painted with French roundels, not only does France not operate this sort of aircraft the soldiers inside are visibly not French due to their equipment.
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The PA system on the US Navy cruiser announces an EDT of "2130 this evening." No sailor past his second week in boot camp would have said that.
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Admiral Riegert is not the Lt's Commanding Officer. The Co would be the F/A-18 Squadron Commander, then the Carrier Air Group Commander, then the ship's CO. The Admiral would be seriously unlikely to take such a career-ending personal interest without a lot of assistance and/or support from the Officers mentioned.
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Burnett talks about flying for Bill Gates or an airline when he leaves the Navy but he's a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) which technically isn't a pilot (Naval Aviator). Whereas NFOs do get some training at the controls of an aircraft in flight school they wouldn't be qualified to get a job as a pilot right out of the Navy.
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Revealing mistakes 

At minute 40: Serbian soldiers are chasing Burnett. They come from right to left. All of them appear to be left handed and all the guns have ejection ports on the left side showing that the whole scene has been inverted.
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In the scene at the beginning where the jet is being prepared for takeoff from the carrier, thrust has been applied and the jet is only seconds away from being launched when the engines shut down. Seconds later when Burnett and Stackhouse are walking away from the plane, the nosewheel can clearly be seen turned significantly to the left and the launch bar is not connected to the catapult, even though seconds earlier it was ready to launch and the plane has not moved.
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At various times in the corridors of the aircraft carrier the bottoms of bulkhead doorways can be seen sliding into place. The bottoms are removable to avoid tripping camera crews during walking sequences.
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Some of the machine guns on the backs of the Serbian jeeps have no ammo boxes, but still fire.
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After ejecting from the aircraft, both pilots are seen floating down past the statue on Ram type parachutes. When Burnett hits the trees and the camera is looking up at him coming down through the branches, he is under a round parachute.
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At the statue, when Sasha is scanning the area through his rifle scope, the camera shows him through the other end of the scope and his eye is magnified. In reality the opposite would happen, making his eye appear smaller.
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Many of the "Serbian" soldiers are carrying Czechoslovakian vz58 rifles, which are similar looking to AK-47s, but are vastly different internally. They were never exported to the Serbs by either the Czechs or the Slovaks.
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When the "shiny new digital camera" is fired up on the plane, there is a close up shot that clearly shows the circuit board to the right of the disk, the right row of silicon chips on this circuit board are all very obviously burnt out / destroyed.
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When Burnett is running through the forest and being fired upon for the first time the bark on the trees around him is exploding as though the bullets are being fired from the direction he is running and not from behind him. The tracer bullets also appear to be coming from the direction he is running.
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At the beginning where the jet is being prepared for takeoff from the carrier, thrust has been applied and the jet is only seconds away from being launched when the engines shut down. Seconds later when Burnett and Stackhouse are walking away from the plane, the nosewheel can clearly be seen turned significantly to the left and the launch bar is not connected to the catapult, even though seconds earlier it was ready to launch and the plane has not moved.
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An ejection seat disappears near bottom left corner of the screen after the pilots pull their chutes - the seat falls, then disappears before leaving the frame.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

Towards the end, Glenn pats Chris on the left shoulder where he was shot. Chris should be in extreme pain but he smiles.
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Continuity 

When Stackhouse is captured by Serbian soldiers, a Serb is seen deliberately stepping on Stackhouse's wound after walking up to him. The next cut-scene shows Burnett observing Stackhouse's capture from far away, and he looks through a pair of binoculars and sees the same Serb walking up to him, but does not show him stepping on Stackhouse's wound. Instead, the Serb is seen swiftly disarming Stackhouse.
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Errors in geography 

After Stackhouse is executed, Burnett starts running up the hill as he is being fired upon. When he runs down the other side of the hill, bullets are still hitting the ground behind him. With a hill in between himself and the shooters, this cannot be possible.
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See also

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

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