When Robbie returns from the downtown area where the lightning struck 26 times, you can hear him talking about it to Ray; you can't see his face, but when the camera zooms in on him, his mouth isn't moving.
When the aliens visit the basement, one of them spins a wheel on a bicycle hanging on the wall. It clicks as it spins, indicating it has a freehub, even though it was the front wheel. Only rear wheels have freehubs.
When Ray, Rachel, and Robbie run into the concrete utility room to escape the fireball from the crashing plane, Ray has to struggle to push the door closed against the flames. But in the morning, exiting the room, he pushes it open. He should have pulled it open to exit the room.
When the army shoots the tripod down towards the end, its three search-lights are shattered in a close-up shot, but when it crashes through the factory they appear to be back on. After it grinds to a halt, the search-lights shut off again. However, when the soldier is inspecting the alien's arm, the search-lights are back on.
The military convoy completely passes by Ray and the kids
while they are standing on the country road at least once, but cutaway shots provide more and more vehicles each time. This goof is later repeated in the scene of the battle on the hill just before Ray and Rachel meet Ogilvy (the same tan-colored Abrams tank can be seen in the background behind Rachel even after it is shown driving up to and atop the hill ahead of her).
Before the first alien tripod comes out of the ground, a circular portion of the ground turns to rubble and then twists counter clockwise. Ray looks at the church and sees the front of it twisting counter clockwise, but then looks down at the ground by his feet (in the same shot), and the ground is twisting clockwise.
After the lightening storm, Ray exits the front of the house to find all the cars outside are disabled. Apart from the very first two we see, behind him at the bottom of the stairs - they still have their rear lights on.
After Ray throws the baseball and breaks a window, the following shot is from the inside of the house and through the broken hole in the window. The shape of the broken window from outside doesn't match the shape from the inside.
(at around 30 mins) In the shot where Ray and his kids are escaping in the minivan, and the bridge is being destroyed behind them, they drive down a street with houses on each side. Just after the tanker explodes in the background, a big pile of rubble appears on the right side of the screen, indicating that side of the street being destroyed. A second after, the left side explodes, and as that happens, the camera pans back to the right side of the street, revealing that side of street as being in perfect condition as if nothing has happened.
After they swim across the Hudson River and Rachel starts to get up to run, she isn't wearing her sleeveless purple hoody and none of the others has it, but a few scenes later, she's wearing it again walking along with Robbie and Ray.
When Mary Ann and Tim drop the kids off at Ray's house, Rachel opens the door of the van into the power pole. Then in the next shot the van is parked too far away to hit the pole. Then in the following shot, the door is resting against the pole again.
As Ogilvy calls to Ray and Rachel before the camera pans out, at the bottom of the screen you can see Ray and Rachel standing there, when they were running seconds ago. As if waiting for a cue they begin a sprint towards the basement door.
When Ray exits the house with Rachel and Robbie after the jetliner has crashed, Robbie has his hands by his side and raises them up as he sees the destruction. In the next shot, his arms are down, and he repeats the same motion again. This occurs when Ray says, "You're doing good, you're doing great, we're going to Boston."
Right before Ray first drives away in the stolen van, he tells his son Robbie to close the door. So he reaches over to close the door. But in the shot BEFORE that one, you can clearly see Robbie already reaching over to close the door. In other words, he reaches over to close the door twice.
When Ray and Robbie wake up from the noises in the basement of the ex-wife house, they are standing. Right after, Rachel is running to Robbie and he holds her. After that Robbie is not holding anyone when he should hold her. Right after that Robbie holds her again.
When Ray and Rachel are hiding underneath the kitchen table during the lightning storm, you see Rachel duck her head and cover her face with her hands. In the next shot the camera views them from behind and you can clearly see Rachel looking up. Then in the next shot the camera is on Rachel and she is ducking.
When Ray, Robbie and Rachel are leaving the city in the van, as they are weaving amongst the broken down cars, the shot from the air shows a dry road surface. The next shot shows a view from inside the van and the roads are wet.
When Rachel sees the dead bodies floating in the river, the front view of her shows her breathing very hard with shoulders noticeably rising and falling. The camera angle immediately reverse to show her from behind, and she is standing still with no shoulder movement. The camera then returns to a front view where she is still breathing hard - just as Ray comes up from behind her.
During the first lightning storm near the beginning of the film, Ray crawls backwards under the table and his shoulder goes behind the column under the table, the following shot reveals Ray's position to be way front out compared to the previous shot; the same column that was next to his head is now lined up with his hip.
When they arrived at Tim's house, Ray tries to fix some peanut sandwiches. He grabs and empties a sleeve of bread package on the kitchen counter. Next shot reveals only 7 slices of bread on the counter, it was obviously more than 7 in the bag, in the previous shot. In fact, if you can freeze the frame at the right moment, you can count at least 9-10 slices of bread while Ray's dumping them on the table, and you can also see that he spares none in the bag. Again, in the following shot, you can see the package of bread neatly folded and containing several slices of bread.
Ray places the box of groceries down on the island counter in Mary Ann's kitchen. In the following shots the box (and goods inside), ceramic pitcher with utensils, tray of napkins, peanut butter, bread and bag, repeatedly, and very noticeably, change positions.
When Ray runs across the street shouting, "Manny! Manny!" a guy with a hat and plaid jacket passes by, as the shot ends. At the start of the next shot, the same guy is now near Manny's garage door and air hose.
After speaking with Robbie, when Ray runs across the street to speak with Manny some are entirely different cars from the previous shots and in one case a car jumps sideways from one lane to the next. Ray also runs beside the crosswalk in the close-up, but in the next shot he's much farther away, and the crowd differs.
When Mary Ann is speaking in the kids' bedroom, her body is facing Robbie, and when she says, "It would be nice if he were done..." in the close-up of Ray her entire body is turned the opposite way, facing the TV, but in the next shot she's turned toward Robbie again. Additionally, the amount of blue sweater visible under her grey coat changes in consecutive shots, during her visit.
After their long drive into the country, Robby and Ray begin arguing at the side of the road. In one shot as Robbie waves his arms, Robbie's blue boxers and pants are on so only the boxer's red waistband is seen. In the next shot, as Robbie still waves his arms, both the pants and boxers are pulled higher up, so now only a bit of the blue boxers are seen.
In the scene where Ray, Robbie and Rachel are going outside of the house to find the remains of the airplane, as Ray is putting Rachel in the car, in the right hand side of the shot you see Robbie walking towards the wreckage, and he puts his hands over his head. In the next shot, it's a close up of him and his hands are at his sides, where he then proceeds to put his hands in the position they were in in the previous shot.
The Hudson Ferry employee runs to the two soldiers and shouts, "Get that ramp up. Cast off. No more people..." In the next semi close-up of the crowd converging on the ferry, there is a large grey car on the dock at the base of the ramp. In the next shot that car is inexplicably gone.
After Rachel tells Ray that Robbie took the car, when Ray runs down the steps long shadows are cast. When Ray turns around to see what everyone is looking at, all shadows are gone, only to reappear in the next shot. Then when Ray runs to his yard, the angle of his shadow is entirely different.
After Ray finds out that Robbie took the car, he runs into the street. In the first shot he stops at least 6-8 ft away from the solid double street lines to turn, yet in the next shot he's standing right on the double lines.
When Ray is taking the van he's having a heated exchange with Manny, and Robbie's window is closed. However, just as Ray anxiously speeds away Robbie's window is wide open, for the dramatic close-up on Robbie's side view mirror, showing Manny's vaporizing demise, and when Robbie ducks his window is closed again.
In the interior shot, the Hudson Ferry captain walks toward and then stands at the doorway (seen clearly when he cast off earlier), as he stares at the growing whirlpool. However, in the next exterior shot he is standing at an open porthole window, staring at the water.
When Ray, Robbie and Rachel arrive at Mary Ann's house, as the kids shout for their mom and Tim, the door to the basement under the stairs, as well as the den further up (beside the kitchen), are all perfectly visible. Later, after the house is destroyed, when Ray walks through the basement doorway, the walls, moldings, and so on are entirely different, and now there is an extra wall (perpendicular to the camera) to the left (viewer's) where there was none before.
When Ray empties the bag of bread, nine of its slices fall out, and he drops the plastic bag (the rest don't fall out). In the next shot there are seven slices total (not nine), and Ray tosses one of them near the box, since he needs only six. But a few shots later two slices appear near the box, together with the six that Ray uses to prepare for sandwiches, totaling eight.
When Ray runs into the street he realizes that everyone is looking behind him, towards his house, so he turns to the right and looks over his right shoulder, but in the next shot facing his house, he's turning to the left and looks over his left shoulder.
When Ray speeds home in his car he passes Manny's shop and directly in front of the left garage door, beside the gas pump, is a large tree surrounded by bricks at the trunk base. Later, when Ray speaks with Manny the tree and surrounding bricks are gone.
When Ray heads home after work, he speeds past Manny's shop, and in the first shot there is a large white sign on the brick wall, to the left of the door (not the one over the door), which is seen later as well. However, in the next shot as Ray pulls into his driveway and when Mary Ann carries Rachel's backpack up the steps, Manny's is at the end of the street and that white sign is gone.
In the overhead shot when Robbie (Justin Chatwin) is helping people get over the top of the ramp of the ferry the water in the back of the ferry is calm. A few seconds before the captain had gone all ahead full, created a water spray and even ripped off the moorings. The water should have been churned by the screws.
In the beginning of the film, when the first tripod began to rise from the earth, there is a cut showing two men standing on top of their scissor lift, which is swaying dangerously back and forth because of the earthquake the tripod is causing. In the very next cut, showing the entire area, the scissor lift is very apparent in the foreground, not only is it not swaying (while everything else in the area is shaking dangerously) , but one of the men is suddenly in a kneeling position, whereas he had just been standing up.
When Rachel's still in the back seat of the van, while everyone is attacking Ray and Robbie in order to steal the vehicle, a large shard of glass hanging in the backseat window-frame disappears between shots.
When Ray and Robbie are throwing the ball near the start, check the wall behind Robbie. In closer shots of him there's sunlight on the wall and the shadow of a nearby satellite dish is visible, but in wider shots the whole wall's in shadow.
On the ferry, Rachel wears the purple/pink camouflage hoodie OVER her orange knit sweater with the colorful stripe sleeves, as usual. Now this is where things become strange. In the first shot as the trio come ashore, she is only wearing her orange sweater, she is not wearing the purple/pink hoodie - note the clear lack of fur hood. In the very next shot as they climb a bit more and then rest, Rachel is wearing the purple/pink hoodie - note the hood, but now it's on UNDER her orange sweater. In the underwater shots she is also wearing it under the orange sweater. (This odd mistake has absolutely nothing to do with the very long wool cloak that Rachel wears in the next scene.)
When the ferry casts off in the wideshot, there are only six people hanging off the outer edge of the ramp as it's being raised. When Robbie and another gentleman help these people over, in the close-up one of them wears tan pants, a long blue coat and knit hat, but this person was not amongst the six in the previous shot.
When Ray and the kids are hiding out in the mom's basement, they take cover in a small utility room that goes pitch black when Ray shuts the door - even though there are windows above the girl's head that emit light before he shuts the door and after he opens it to leave.
When the van is parked at the side of the road, as Rachel heads off Ray shouts, "Every time you guys don't listen to me I'm telling your mother..." In the next shot the van is seen quite a distance away as Rachel reaches the shoreline. After seeing the floating bodies Ray picks her up, turns around and as he begins to run the van is seen, only this time is much, much closer. Ray never moved the van, as shown in the following shots.
In the exterior shot of Mary Ann's house, there are three large windows of the same size over the front door, and large bay widows on both sides of the door. In the interior shot, when Ray remarks, "They're never here," the window over the door is visible and it is one large center window with very small windows on each side. In the dining room there are two windows with wall in between, certainly not a large bay window. (Additionally, in the living room there is a fireplace, where there were two windows in the exterior shot - but some could say that those windows were boarded up and a fireplace was built in front of it.)
In Mary Ann's basement, when Ray and Robbie are looking out the small window, as the aliens begin their attack, Rachel runs over and Robbie hugs her tightly. However, in the next shot of Robbie and Ray, Rachel is gone, yet in the very next close-up Robbie is still hugging Rachel. (The shot of Ray and Robbie without Rachel is cut from a previous shot, before she runs to them.)
When Ray parks the van at the side of the road, the van is about 60-70 ft away from the tall wood post, at the road intersection up ahead. However, in the first shot of the military vehicles approaching, the van is parked directly in front of that wood post at the intersection, and this also occurs in the shot as Ray shouts, "Robbie! You wanna go in that direction?"
When they stop so the kids can go to the toilet, in a long shot of Ray trying to persuade Rachel not to go too far, we see him start to open the boot (trunk) of the car. When it cuts to a closeup he's not.
As Ray speeds away when Manny's shop blows up, Robbie shouts, "Holy s**t!!" and ducks. The rearview mirror on the van's windshield, in this close-up, is entirely different to the one seen a few shots later, when they're on the freeway. The mirror changes yet again later.
When Ray steals the van and speeds away there is a registration sticker at the corner of the windshield, on the driver's side. The sticker is gone when Ray starts shouting, "You saw! We're under attack!" when they're on the freeway.
As Ray heads to the 26 strikes spot, while speaking with the two guys, he passes many stalled cars, some of which change entirely between shots. For example: In the close-ups he passes a red car in front of the restaurant, with a grey double parked car, and a white car at the street corner in front of the red, yet in the overhead shot a red car is at the street corner, with a grey car behind, in front of the restaurant.
When Ray is outside at the beginning of the movie during the lightning storm, he says to himself that the wind is moving in the direction of the storm. Yet when he calls to Rachel to come outside and take a look, her hair is blowing away from her face, in the opposite direction it should be blowing.
While in his bed Robbie watches TV, as he leans against the wall behind him. Yet, in the close-up of the TV when Ray clicks it off, Robbie is clearly reflected on the TV screen leaning near the window, which is a good few feet away from where he was in the previous shot. In the next shot he's back to where he was in the first shot.
When Ray runs to catch the ferry, Sheryl loses her grip of him and when the soldier abruptly stops her the green hat falls behind her. Yet as the ramp rises, when Ray shouts, "There's room on the boat," Sheryl's hat is back on her head.
As the tripod is attempting to have Ray sucked up, the soldier begins pulling Ray's arm down, trying to free him while he himself is being raised in the air. In the following shots, Ray's rescue is shown from three different angles, and each angle is distinctly different from the others.
When Ray steals the van the front windshield is dirty and has water spots all over. Then in the following shots, it alternates between being entirely clean, or clean only in the area that wipers swipe clean.
When Ray and Rachel are in the backyard, just before the lightening starts, she says, "I don't wanna go by myself," and there are no leaves on the barbeque. In the next close-up, as they stand near it, there are leaves on it. (Not due to wind.)
When Robbie shouts at the soldiers driving by, puddle water splashes all over him, and the pattern and/or amount of water all over Robbie's jacket varies shot to shot. For example: when Ray shouts, "You're in charge now, you tell me..." there are many water spots on both sides of Robbie's jacket, but two shots later as Robbie shouts, "We get back at them!" only his left side is wet. Quick drying.
In the scene right after Ray kills Ogilvy, Rachel finishes singing her song and as she's taking off her blindfold you can see that her hair is all messy and dry. In the very next shot her hair is all wet and neat.
In Ogilvy's cellar, in the close-up of Ray's hand, he holds it up to the red mist blowing through the two broken windows. In the next shot however, as Ray looks at his hand and realizes it's blood, the right window is suddenly blocked with a broken shutter and two pieces of wood.
When Ray speeds past Manny's there are long shadows cast, but in the next shot when he pulls into the driveway shadows are gone. When he, Mary Ann and Tim speak the shadows are back only to disappear in the next shot, and so on, all depending on camera angle.
In the first shot as the church sustains damage, a long massive crack rips up the asphalt and concrete sidewalk under the streetlight then makes its way up the building. However, in the next shot, even as the church receives more damage, the previous damage to the asphalt and concrete is gone and there are actually people standing around that streetlight.
After the ferry disaster, the trio swim to shore and climb up the bank. In the side shot Ray holds Rachel's left arm and Robbie holds her right arm. However, in the next back shot Ray holds Rachel's right arm, and Robbie holds her left.
When Ray and Rachel crawl under the kitchen table during the lightning strikes, in the first shot Ray's entire body is behind the leg base, yet in the next shot his arms and upper body are in front of it.
When Ogilvy shouts Ray's name half a dozen times, Ray runs to him to quiet him down. The broken cellar window behind Ogilvy has shards of glass and red roots growing on it. Then in the next exterior shot, the shards of bloody glass are different size and shape, and the roots differ as well.
In the kids' bedroom, while Mary Ann speaks, Ray sits with the baseball cap in his hand. When the shot faces him he holds the brim with the cap facing out, but when the shot faces Mary Ann he holds the back of the cap with the brim hanging down.
In Boston, Ray and Rachel discover dead red weed on a statue. If you look behind them, you can see a space between two buildings that is clear, only sky. In the next shot, when the crashed tripod is being shown, the spot where there was just sky now has the tripod legs. Compositors forgot to add the tripod in the previous shot.
In the van, when Ray says to Manny "Get in, or you're gonna die," the next shot shows Rachel's face with tears in her eyes saying "What do you mean?" with a very distressed look. In next shot from the left side of the van, you can see Rachel on the right side of the screen with a different expression on her face, looking more calm, yet, in the next shot the look on her face is distressed with the look of crying again.
When Ray finally arrives at his ex in-laws' house, in the shot from behind Mary Ann, Ray passes the two cars on his right and is near the corner, but a few shots later, when Ray puts Rachel down, he is standing beside the first car, back up the street.
After Ray walks out of Mary Ann's destroyed house, he sees Max on the airplane wreckage. In the first shot Max's body faces out, towards Ray, as he drags the food locker, but in the next overhead shot Max's body faces the seats. His position and things on the plane also differ.
In one of the earlier scenes where they are in the dad's house, just before Rachel tells Ray that Robbie took the car, Rachel is slouching on the couch with her left leg crossed over her right. In the next shot she is sitting up with her hands on her face, and now her right leg is crossed over her left.
When Ray puts his feet on the sidewalk when the intersection moves, there is a blue car in front of him that is on the side of the moving intersection. Three shots later, when we are shown the moving intersection, the blue car disappears.
When Ray and the kids are driving down the freeway, there are several cars stopped randomly so they have to swerve a lot. But when it shows them inside the car, talking, they are driving perfectly straight. When it shows them from the outside again, the random cars are back and they start swerving again.
When they leave Mary Ann's house in the minivan, Ray has Rachel in his arms, and the pink cord on Rachel's sweater disappears between shots. It's hanging on her arm, under Ray's chin, the first time he tells his son to get in the van, but it's not there the second time, and it's back on the third.
In the scene when the intersection is rotating, the camera is aimed up towards the church and starts to pan down. Tom Cruise runs into the scene and gets behind a car. The movement of the church shows the intersection is turning counter-clockwise but as it pans to the ground, the intersection is turning clockwise.
When Rachel is watching the floating corpses in the river, the shots alternate back and forth between a wide angle where she is standing still and wind is not blowing, to a close-up where she is sobbing, moving her shoulders up and down rhythmically and her hair is moving rapidly.
As Mary Ann's house shakes during the alien attack, when Ray shouts, "Where do we go? Robbie, this is your house. Where do we go?" Robbie is hugging Rachel. In this shot Rachel's hair is extremely curly, whereas in previous and following shots it's barely even wavy. (Most likely she's the body double.)
Ray leaves Ogilvy's house to search for Rachel and soon runs into the pickup truck, just before the tripod's tentacle lifts it. The massive red roots growing all over the pickup are very different in the next shot, as it's lifted in the air.
When we see the Hudson-Athens ferry boat captain from outside of his bridge, the video screens in each window above his head are positioned well below the tops of each window. In the next shot they're higher and we barely see them.
As the News Producer speaks with Ray amidst the plane wreckage, her black bag, her actions, and how she hold things such as food trays, change abruptly in consecutive shots, while Max searches for food in the locker.
Just before the news van leaves, in the shot facing the News Producer she asks Ray, "Hey were you on that plane?" then extends her left arm to touch Ray with her left hand. However, in the shot facing Ray, she has her right arm extended to touch Ray.
As the hole begins to crack in the overhead wideshot the crowd moves back, and the florist is at the top center of the screen with hardly anyone near it. Yet, in the next close-up, suddenly there are dozens of people standing in its path, as the crack dramatically approaches the florist.
As the asphalt begins to burst open, the Portuguese restaurant's windows shatter, and when the camera pans to the church there are very few people on the street in front of it. In the next shot, however, there is a huge crowd in front of it.
When the asphalt quakes in front of the church in the overhead shot, just as the huge gush of water shoots up from the ground, in the foreground a person is leaning way out their window aghast at the goings on. In the next shot that person is gone and the window is shut.
Whilst Robbie is helping the people onto the ferry in the overhead shot, Ray holds Rachel beside a red car down below as they are both avidly watching Robbie's heroism. However, in the next close-up Ray is just now approaching the car, amongst a greater crowd of people.
When Ray and the two guys head to the spot with 26 strikes, there is a crowd of people walking behind them in all the close-ups, yet, in the overhead shot hardly anyone is behind them as they approach the hole, and there was no time for the crowd to move ahead or disperse. Additionally, some of those people who are already positioned at the center of the crowd, around the hole, were just behind Ray in the previous shots.
After losing the van the trio sit in the diner, and things on their table repeatedly change, such as when the gunshot rings out. Robbie first flips the coffee cup upside down, but in the next shot when Robbie turns the cup is upright, only to be upside down again when Rachel runs into his arms.
When Ray places the silver garbage can at the curb, he places it parallel to the other cans, but in the following shots they form a triangle. They also change position, such as the blue recycling can being directly in front of Tim's back car, yet when Robbie gets out the can is far enough away from the car to allow the back door to open freely.
When the hole cracks the asphalt in the first shot, the crack makes its way to Santo's Florist cracking the side of the brick building. A few shots later, when the Portuguese restaurant windows shatter, as the camera pans toward the church Santo's is seen on the street corner and the massive damage to the building is gone. The long crack in the asphalt leading from the hole to the florist is gone too.
Mary Ann pulls the cord out of the iPod and holds it with the screen facing her palm, as she explains about Robbie's Algeria report. However, in the next shot the iPod is held in her hand the opposite way.
When Ray is in his backyard and says, "That is so weird," he's standing well away from the fence that is near the female neighbor holding the baby, but in the next shot he's right beside the fence talking to her.
When Mary Ann carries Rachel's backpack into Ray's kitchen, she places the backpack down on the floor to her left, with her left hand and then steps away. However, in the next shot, she is still holding it and then places it down to her right, with her right hand.
Just before the first alien tripod breaks free from the ground and cracks are appearing in the street, the front of the church cracks, and rocks away from its second half. In that shot, in the view from behind Ray, he places his right foot on the curb, while his left foot is on the road. In the next shot facing Ray, both his feet are on the curb.
When Rachel runs to her mom, in Boston, in the side shot of Mary Ann she's already gone down the stairs and crossed the sidewalk towards her daughter, yet in the next shot it's Rachel who crosses the sidewalk towards her mom, who is still up at the center of the stairs.
When Ray throws the bread with peanut butter at the window it lands dead center. However, in the next close-up it's off to the side of the glass, in order for Ray's and Rachel's reflections to be seen clearly. The slice of bread differs as well.
Ray walks into the living room when Rachel watches TV, sits down, asks about the splinter while still holding a coffee mug with his outstretched arm leaning on his leg and his feet on the floor, in the shot facing him. In the next shot from behind, his leg is now on the footrest, his arm lies on the chair arm, and he's not holding the mug. Then moments later something similar happens.
When Ray heads upstairs from Mary Ann's wrecked basement, there is a mess beside the stairs. However, in the next shot looking down, there's no mess near the stairs, furniture differs, and now there's a wicker hamper that appears out of nowhere.
In Boston, when Mary Ann lifts Rachel, she holds her daughter then turns to face Ray and says, "Thank you." Behind them, up the stairs, the left front door is already wide open, yet in the next shot both doors are closed until her parents dramatically open them.
Ray and Rachel are about to walk down into the basement at Harlan's house, the door on the right of the bulkhead is open and the door on the left is closed. In the view from the basement you will notice that the door on the left is open and the door on the right is closed.
As the boy runs up the stairs to the second level of the ferry Tom Cruise yells, "Robbie". If look closely there's a large speaker in front of him that can be seen in the first two shots but then disappears for the rest.
Whilst Ray is trapped in the upside down pickup, he looks through the windshield hole directly at Rachel, who stands on higher ground. In the next shot from behind Rachel, the landscape, wood fence, etc., to her sides are entirely different from the previous shot.
When the first tripod comes out of the street, two workmen are on a scaffold. Two shots over their left shoulders show the scaffold swaying; the long shot in between shows the scaffold static and the workmen move backwards in the first shot, but are in the front in the long shot.
When Ray and the kids take refuge in the diner when their car has been taken off them, there is a woman with long blonde hair in the booth next to them. When the gun shot goes off outside and they turn to look she has disappeared, there is less than one second for her to get up from the booth and walk the length of the diner and leave.
When the tripod first appears out of the ground in the intersection and the ground is cracking, Ray puts one foot on the street and one on the curb for balance. In the next shot, both his feet are firmly on the ground
Ray is running from the front of his building to the backyard of his building. The shot of him running around the building in the alley is very dark, like it was filmed at night. When he emerges into the backyard, it is daylight.
When Ray first puts the blindfold on Rachel in the basement, the folds are crooked and bulged, in the subsequent shots the blindfold is perfect, it is evenly folded and the middle fold is uniform and flat.
Following the aliens emergence from beneath the tarmac of the intersection, Ray Ferrier runs for the safety of the sidewalk and we see a shot from behind him looking towards the alien breakout. He has one foot on the sidewalk and one in the gutter. In the next shot, looking front on to Ray, he is standing in the middle of the sidewalk.
When Robbie runs to the back of the ferry and we get an over the shoulder shot of him looking over the boat and dock, there is a member of the film crew off on the dock on the right hand side with a flag (black material on a metal frame) fanning the fog/smoke machine. He's easy to miss in the chaos.
In Mary Ann's kitchen, just as Ray comments, "Ok, well you hungry? I'll get you some food," the clear reflection of a male crew-member moving around is visible in the glass window behind Ray. Then just as he says, "This is ketchup and mustard," another older male crew-member is visible directly in front of Rachel's reflection.
When Ray and Ogilvy play tug-of-war with the gun, as the aliens rummage around the cellar, Ogilvy finally pulls it away from Ray. In the next close-up of Ogilvy and his gun, the boom mic dips down for a moment, but it's gone in Ogilvy's next close-up.
When Robbie gets out of Tim's car there are two of the crew's chalk marks on the sidewalk - one long blue line in front of Ray and an orange arrow near the trunk of the car. They are gone when Rachel leaves the car.
When John runs from his home in 11 John F. Kennedy Blvd in Bayonne next to the Bayonne Bridge to 5 Corners on Ferry St in Newark he arrives as if he'd just ran around the block. This is impossible. The most direct route from his home to 5 Corners covers a distance of nine miles, and he would have had to run on the NJ Turnpike and Route 1&9.
When they're exiting the home where the jumbo jet crashed, the cockpit window is broken with a hole in it. Cockpit windows do not break like windows in homes. They are in fact multiple layers of various materials including special glass, heating elements, bonding materials, etc, and when they break, they "spiderweb" into many, many small pieces. The window in this scene appeared to be a single pane of glass that looked like it had a rock thrown through it.
If a large jumbo jet crashes into a house, and the house catches fire just as it it did as everyone got into the concrete utility room, it would have burned considerably more than shown. The basement had some charring, but there were plenty of clothes and other flammable debris scattered around, unburnt after the fireball supposedly engulfed the basement.
The camcorder that is dropped when the aliens first arrive shows the horizon lined up with the base of the view-screen while the camera rests on an angle. The view-screen's horizon lined up with the horizon outside of the view-screen.
When Robbie runs up the hill to watch the army attacking the tripods, Rachel is left standing by a tree and a squadron of AH-1 gunships flies overhead to attack the aliens. However, these helicopters don't have any landing struts (certainly the one nearest the camera doesn't), but all models of the AH-1 had fixed struts.
As the Hudson-Athens ferry capsizes, Tom Cruise and his two children are almost crushed as a car slides off the ferry and quickly sinks, going straight to the bottom. We see that this sedan-style car has people in it, and that the windows are closed, so the passenger compartment has not yet flooded. It is still full of air. A sedan full of air would not quickly sink. It would briefly float on the surface, then slowly submerge as the passenger compartment floods.
The minivan that Ray drives is shown several times with its rear-most side window rolled all the way down. No such ability exists on any year/model of Chrysler-built minivan. They are either fixed (non-opening) or hinged at their forward edge to open like a 'flap' at the rear edge. The glass isn't broken, as it appears/reappears depending on the scene, and no such customization is possible as such a large window has no place to go down to due to the wheel well location directly below. The windows were obviously removed so the camera could move through the glass without having to use digital effects to go through the window, but in doing so, they created an obvious mistake.
As Tom Cruise and the children walk on route 385 towards Athens NY they pass a sign saying that the town is 1 1/2 miles away just before they cross a bridge. In reality there's no bridge to cross 1 1/2 miles from Athens NY on route 385.
The New York Central Railroad's West Shore Line train tracks depicted in the scene with the burning train in Athens NY is not accurate. Tom Cruise and the children walk right onto the ferry terminal after crossing the train tracks, but in reality the tracks are over two miles to the west of the Hudson River shoreline.
The burning train scene as Tom Cruise leads the children towards the Athens NY ferry is fantastic. The only problem is route 385 does lead them to the center of town but it doesn't intersect a rail line.
When Rachel tells Ray she won third place in walk/trot/canter, it appears that she is holding a green ribbon. Third place is gold/yellow for equestrian events and green is sixth place. Earlier in the film, at about the 12 min. mark, when they order food, Rachel has the ribbon laying on her leg and as the camera pans across it, you can see that it is gold and has a horses head on it. The ribbon appears to be green later in the film as it has become dirtied while they are on the run.
It's a special Hollywood EMP that disables only the electronic equipment that the filmmakers want it to. While "technically" it's a factual mistake that, for instance, the camcorder is still working, it was clearly a deliberate decision by the filmmakers. We also only have a TV reporter's word for it that it's an "EMP" anyway, so it could be an alien weapon of which we know nothing.
When Ray returns home after witnessing the first tripod emerge, his children ask what's going on as if they haven't seen or heard anything. With the level of destruction caused (and the fact that their TVs are off due to the power being out), they would have had to have heard or seen some activity, since Ray had to live within walking distance of the affected area, because he wasn't driving.
Near the end of the film, a group of soldiers attack an alien drone with a Javelin shoulder-fired missile launcher. The firing effect in the film has a dramatic backblast complete with flames shooting out of the missile tube. The actual Javelin has a "soft-launch" feature where the missile weakly pops out of the tube and travels a certain distance before the main rocket motor ignites. It was designed to help mask the gunner's firing position.
Robbie does not catch anything in his glove when Ray throws the ball at him, a second later a ball magically appears. This happens as Robbie says: "Is it OK with you if I laugh the first 500 times you tell that one?"
When driving down the highway after all the cars have broken down, all of the cars are pushed aside making a path. The cars should have been where they were while driving, so Ray would be driving in the field.
When Harlan Ogilvy first stands outside his house with his gun in the air, yelling to Ray to come over, you can see Ray and Rachel standing still in the background waiting for their cue to start running toward the house. They stand still until Harlan yells a second time, then they start running toward the house.
When Ray is fleeing New Jersey in the stolen car to go to his ex-wife's house he jumps on the expressway. The expressway is jam packed bumper-to-bumper right before the point of the exit on ramp. The road from the point of the on ramp and after (where Ray is driving) while still cluttered with cars, is still very easy to navigate whipping in and out of each lane. There is no way a car could drive on the expressway before the point where Ray jumps on the expressway.
When Ray comes out of the basement after the plane crashed near the house you can see most of the walls have been blown away by the explosion. Most of the items inside the house thought (photos, lamp) are still standing upright in their original position without being burned.
When Ray, Rachel and Robbie are driving in the mini van out of town, through the interstate traffic, Ray's steering inputs don't always match the direction of the van as seen out of the van's rear window. At one point, Ray definitely steers to his right and the van obviously moves to the left.
When Ray and his kids enter the empty house looking for the mother, there is a brief shot of a picture of the family on a shelf. This picture is obviously a faked composite because the light is hitting their faces from different directions.
When the ferry sets off it generates a large wake, spraying many people with water. In the next couple of shots when Robbie helps the people on the closed ramp, there is no wake; indicating that the ferry is stationary when it should be moving.
Instead blocking the roads as the would be if they were stopped by an EMP, all of the vehicles on the interstate route first traveled by Ray in the van are askew just enough for him to drive down the road and not be stopped.
When the Hudson Ferry captain casts off the large label that reads "Hudson Ferry" is on his left side of his jacket. However, in the exterior shot as he looks out the window at the whirlpool, the label is on his right side. This shot was flipped, and amusingly, the CGI guys actually retouched the words "Hudson Ferry" so it wouldn't read backwards.
While tossing a baseball with his son, Ray calls him a "dick." If you look at his hand at that point, one can notice that his hand is closed in a fist, and he is not holding the baseball he is prepared to throw.
When the tripod is tipping the ferry over, people fall over the rail and cars slide toward it. You can see the cars stop short of the rail so they don't smash into stuntmen, even though they are jammed against the rail in the next shot.
After the ferry scene, CGI clothes fall off from the sky, but manage to go through the branches of the trees, without becoming entangled in them, or without the branches affecting the falling path of the fabric.
Dakota Fanning cannot actually see the computer generated birds that are flying high over the Hudson-Athens ferry. If you look closely her eyes stair straight ahead and not up in the air where they should be.
During the first attack, we see a Grand Cherokee coming out from the crater, falling down on a Ford Taurus on the left side of the screen. That car's left window was down before the camera pans up, and the same window is up (and stays intact) after the Cherokee comes down on it.
The same blue Chrysler appears three times on different roads at the start of the film. First it's on Ray's street when he steps out outside after the storm to find Robby, the second Ray runs past it on another street, and lastly it ends up where the tripod comes out of the ground and it's parked on a piece of moving earth when the gravel and dirt is raining down.
When Ray is walking towards Mary Ann's parents' house in the final scene, the car closest to the house on his right hand side is a white or silver-colored car with its hood open, its front facing the house. But when his daughter runs off to meet Mary Ann, suddenly two other cars appear there, a dark blue station wagon and another car are parked with their fronts turned towards the pavement. When there is a shot of Ray near the house, all the cars in the background are parked in line behind the car with the hood open.
Toward the end of the movie, when the crowd of people are herded into a tunnel, you can see red CGI reference marks in one of the shots on the wall of the tunnel behind Ray and Rachel. The reference marks are used to properly match the movements of CGI add-ins to the actual camera movements and should have been erased. (fixed in DVD release)