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Watchmen (2009) Poster

(2009)

Goofs

Character error 

When Adrian/Ozymandias is being interviewed in his office the reporter states that he is the second Watchmen to reveal his secret identity the first being Hollis Mason/Nite Owl I. Mason was a member of The Minute Men (the precursor to The Watchmen) which didn't form until he had retired and passed the Nite Owl mantle to Dan.
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Anachronisms 

The Comedian's 1911 pistols have Picatinny-style accessory rails machined into the frame below the barrel. These are out of place in 1985, as the Picatinny-style rail was not standardized until 1996, and was not used on handguns until the early 2000s.
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High Density (as shown by the second hole) 3.5" floppy disks weren't introduced until 1987.
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The Phil Caputo book, "Equation of Evil" seen in Hollis Mason's apartment next to the television during the Rorschach/Patterson-Gimlin Film news footage, was not published until 1996.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In the opening sequence at 09:44 (ultimate cut) the stem of the flower disappears and the flowers hover freely.
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Character error 

Doctor Manhattan describes a "circulatory system" appearing on the grounds of a government base. However what is depicted is clearly the nervous system, as it features a brain and spinal cord, but no heart or lungs. (This error is repeated from the novel.)
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Near the beginning of the movie, Hollis Mason is listing the other members of the Minutemen besides him. He forgets to mention the Silhouette, who served with Nite Owl I in the Minutemen.
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A newscast lists the arrested Walter Kovacs' age as 35. However, all other plot points, plus the actor's age (47), show that the character's age is 45, not 35.
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Continuity 

The third and final inkblot shown to Rorschach by the psychiatrist is not the same after his flashback.
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In the prison, as Silk Spectre and Night Owl are fighting the inmates down the cell block, Silk Spectre's boots go from high stiletto heels to flats.
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In Dan Dreiberg's underground laboratory, Rorschach rather pointedly drags his finger through a thick coat of dust over a cover on his work bench to indicate its lack of use. Later when Laurie Juspeczyk pulls the dust cover off of the "Archimedes" ship, there is no cloud of dust.
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When Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II first arrive at the prison riot, the first one to run at them is an inmate with long hair. Silk Spectre II kicks him to the ground. As they fight their way down towards the guard, the same man is seen again and he is then swept off his feet and clotheslined to the ground by Nite Owl.
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In the main titles, Nite Owl stands up and his head completely covers the "1940" on the sign behind him. In all subsequent shots of the photograph of "Minutemen 1940" the banner hangs unobstructed above his head.
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When Rorshach kicks in the door at the child murder's house, the door bounces several times against the wall, showing a spring is holding it open so it won't swing back in the actor's face. When the murderer gets home a few minutes later, it's standing only an inch or so open.
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Moloch's copy of Allen Ginsberg's "HOWL" on his night table briefly changes orientation. Initially, you see the letters right side up; then upside-down (and closer to the bed); then back again.
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During the McLaughlin group discussion John McLaughlin has his hands in his lap. After a camera angle change his hands are raised.
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When we first see the cigarette in Moloch's hand it is burnt almost all the way down. When we see it again from another angle it is about halfway.
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When Silk Spectre I is getting undressed in her 1940's flashback, her black glove disappears when she clips open the neck of her dress.
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In several fighting scenes, Silk Spectre II's boots switch back and forth from flat boots to high heeled boots.
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When Rorschach searches the Comedian's apartment following the crime scene investigation, after jumping from the window he searches the place with his flashlight. He shines his torch to his left (towards to kitchen), but the next shot shows the light shining over the picture of Sally Jupiter with the knife stuck in it (the opposite side of where he points his flashlight).
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Crew or equipment visible 

(at around 5 mins) During the opening fight, as the Comedian is thrown across the room, Director Zack Snyder can be seen huddling between the drawer and brick wall, lower, left-hand corner of the screen. (Snyder points this out during his "live" Blu-Ray commentary.)
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At Karnak in some close ups of Nite Owl's face, the reflection in his goggles shows actor Billy Crudup in his motion capture suit covered in blue dots, instead of a full rendering of Dr. Manhattan.
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Errors in geography 

In the scenes on Mars, two moons of approximately the same size as ours can be seen in the sky. However, the larger moon, Phobos, is 1/4 the apparent size of our moon when viewed from Mars, the other moon, Deimos, is much smaller - 5% of our moon's apparent size. Neither moon is as spherical as depicted, nor clearly visible from the surface.
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Factual errors 

When Dr. Jon Osterman's physical body is destroyed in the intrinsic field separator there is a point where the muscle and organs have been largely disintegrated off his remaining skeleton. At this point Dr. Osterman lifts his arms shortly before the rest of his skeleton is completely disintegrated. This movement of his skeleton wouldn't be possible because the muscles necessary for skeletal movement are already gone.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In this movie, the United States won the Vietnam War. However, one of Veidt's monitors is playing Rambo: First Blood Part II, a movie about avenging America's losses in Vietnam. In Veidt's world, Rambo must be regarded as an imaginative science fiction movie set in an alternate universe.
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When the Comedian's coffin is being lowered into the grave Dr. Manhattan's glow is not reflected off of it. This is because Dr. Manhattan can control his skin pigment, as well as the glow he emits. One would not be glowing at a funeral, so Dr. Manhattan in turn is not.
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Some of the floating credits are reflected in Neil Armstrong's helmet. The back of the letters (or the reverse side) is what is facing the helmet. The reflection of the reverse side (or, the reverse of the reverse side) would show the text properly oriented. Therefore, both the credits and the reflection should appear as readable; the reflection should not appear backwards.
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If you look closely at all the framed newspaper articles, especially in the opening credits, the articles themselves are just series of repeating texts and paragraphs. However, this may be intentional, as it is a convention in comic books/graphic novels for "minor text" to appear as scribbles or repeating text.
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While it seems a continuity mistake, we can hear the bald thug drop his rotary saw, and the other thug pick it up all in the shot where he grabs the bars.
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Dreiberg microwaves a carton of Chinese food with its metal handle still attached. While microwave instructions commonly prohibit customers from placing metal inside them for safety reasons the dangers of doing so are greatly exaggerated in the public mind. Small amounts of metal, like the handle from a Chinese food container, will likely not cause sparking and will generally, at most, cause damage to the microwave not a larger fire or an explosion.
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When the reporters are talking to Veidt in his office, they refer to him as being only the second hero to reveal his identity, after Hollis Mason. It is true that in the opening montage, a bomber is seen with Silk Spectre's alias "Sally Jupiter" emblazoned on its side. Her real last name was Juspeczyk. She assumed the name Sally Jupiter because she did not wish to be known as being Polish. No one would be able to just look her up in the phone book so she did not really reveal her true identity.
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The director's cut, and the source novel, show how people know that Doctor Manhattan has gone to Mars, and eliminates "continuity errors" regarding his and Laurie's poses there.
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Revealing mistakes 

In the scene in which Dr. Manhattan is dressing himself, as he turns his head at the end, his CGI neck can be seen going through the collar of his shirt.
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In Antarctica, as Rorschach and Nite Owl II slide open the doors when entering the facility, there are conduits and pipes on the right side of the screen that should continue through the wall but do not go anywhere. The sliding door passes through the wall where the pipes/conduits should be going. Also, the large pipe has a match outside but the perspective is not correct to have it meed up with the pipe from inside.
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As the camera zooms out from the crime scene at The Comedian's apartment, the Chrysler Center is visible in the reflection of the glass, but is not visible as the camera zooms out far enough to be able to see where it should be.
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When Dan meets Rorschach for the first time, his glasses are wet due to rain but not his face or hair.
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When Laurie and Dan talk inside a coffee house, you can see people outside through a circular window. A woman and other people appear and disappear suddenly.
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When the coffin is brought to the graveside there is no vault or frame to place it on prior to lowering it into the hole.
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If you watch the shadows on Dr. Manhattan carefully, it appears that the blue light is coming from an off-camera source, not his body. When he turns his head, the side of his face that is in shadow will change. When he is sitting on the bed holding the bra, the shadow of the bra on his chest indicates this as well. (Note: while the actor was emitting blue light from his motion capture suit during production, the computer model of Doctor Manhattan must be lit independently by animators.)
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Veidt drops the bullet he captured in his hand, it makes the distinctive sound of an empty shell casing hitting the floor and not the heavy clicking of an actual bullet being dropped.
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Character error 

When Rorschach and Nite Owl cut through the door to get into Karnak, you can see Nite Owl accidentally fires his cutting torch gun when trying to put it away.
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Continuity 

After the fight between Veidt, Rorschach and Nite Owl II, Rorschach helps up Nite Owl as Veidt starts heading up the stairs. Rorschach had his hands at his sides, then the angle changed to over Veidt's shoulder and Rorschach's hands were inside his coat's pockets.
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Continuity 

When Ozymandias captures the bullet shot by Silk Spectre II, he rotates clockwise capturing the bullet with his left hand and falling. In the next shot the bullet is half inside his right hand.
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Continuity 

The position of the flag on 'The Comedian's' coffin reverses between the removal of the coffin from the hearse to the arrival at the grave site.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The particle accelerator is used to kill other characters, but why wouldn't they come back like Dr. Manhattan did? The other scientists had been killed by poison before being disintegrated. Dr. Manhattan was alive and conscious when he was disintegrated. His backstory also makes it explicit that he was taught how to recreate complex structures starting in his youth.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The American cities destroyed at the end are New York and Los Angeles, notably NOT Washington D.C., the seat of government. However, Moscow and Paris ARE destroyed. New York was shown to have not been destroyed entirely, thus it is reasonable to believe that the other cities were not destroyed entirely either, and the Soviet premier did survive to make peace.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Veidt uses energy from Dr. Manhattan to destroy major cities across the world in order to end war. If he was able to do this, he might have been able to complete his original stated goal of creating renewable energy to end war. However, there is a big difference between using a physical process as a weapon, or as a useful energy source. In a real-life example, nuclear fusion was made into a weapon (a hydrogen bomb) in 1952, but despite all efforts, even 60 years later, the best fusion reactors are still too inefficient to be a practical energy source. So Veidt's original plan wasn't an option in the time frame he was given.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

During the final battle in Adrian's Antarctic base, Laurie shoots Adrian with a pistol. It is hard to catch, but she takes this from a guard at Sing Sing during the breakout of Rorschach. Later it can be seen tucked away in her belt.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In the scene where Rorschach is trapped in Edgar Jacobi's apartment, surrounded by SWAT teams, Jacobi's corpse blinks. However, recently deceased corpses will oftentimes show muscle reactions: twitches, gasps and flexures are not uncommon.
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See also

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

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