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Burn After Reading (2008) Poster

Goofs

Character error 

The CIA Supervisor states that Venezuela does not have an extradition treaty with the US. Venezuela has had a bilateral extradition treaty with the US since 1923.

Continuity 

When Linda and Chad are at the Russian Embassy the picture behind Linda and Chad on the office wall is Boris Yeltsin's portrait, then in security camera shot, showing Chad and Linda waiting for Krapotkin, the portrait is of Vladimir Putin.
When Osbourne is getting demoted, a gold pen keeps appearing and disappearing on the desk.
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When Linda and Chad are at the Russian Embassy, the video surveillance shot shows that it is May 1st, later it shows Harry looking at his cell phone with the date being 17/9/2008, September 17th, obviously 5 months later.
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When Osbourne is getting demoted, he is behind a chair from one camera angle and in front of the chair from another angle.
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When Harry is out running the sweat mark nearly covers the entire back of his shirt. When he walks into the house after his run the mark is much smaller.
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In the final scene with Linda, in which she's being picked up by the CIA, an agent pulls alongside her on the right. In the second shot depicting him, the car is in the same spot, in a traffic lane (not parked), but the shifter is in the Park position.
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After Osbourne has quit the agency, we see him on a sailboat motoring on the water. The scene changes to a closeup with his father and the sailboat is suddenly not moving through the water.
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When Chad Feldheimer enters Coxes house the basement door is different between the outside view (door and side window) and inside view (no side window).
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Before Chad Feldheimer goes over the wall to enter Coxes house you see a white building on the right. Once over the wall you see a red brick faced building.
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After Katie Cox sees the damaged Mercedes, she enters her house and runs past the mirror where 2 lamps are missing.
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When Linda asks Ted to break into the Osbourne house, he puts his hands up while telling her "No, No" and no ring is visible. In the next shot, you so him making this gesture from another angle and there is clearing a wedding band on Ted's wedding finger.
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The apparent time of year keeps changing, some scenes have "turned leaves" on the street, with colorful trees. Others scenes look to be in mid summer, with clear streets and sidewalks

Errors in geography 

On his 5.2 mile run, after crossing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Harry runs north up a steep hill on 35th Street, and a black car passes him from behind. In reality, this street runs one-way in the opposite direction. Also, the car appears to continue straight through the intersection, but is then seen going east on Prospect Street; Harry watches it drive away while facing northwest, then turns and jogs away in the same direction the car went, passing the same tree that the car just passed.
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Factual errors 

Chad and Linda enjoy a Jamba Juice together. There are no Jamba Juice stores within 50 miles of Washington, DC.
At the end of the film, when the CIA supervisor opens & closes a file marked "Top Secret", the file's cover-sheet is outlined in red. This is an error because the cover-sheet of all "Top Secret" classified files are outlined in orange. Red is saved for the cover-sheets of all classified files marked "Secret" and blue is used for the cover-sheets of all classified files marked "Confidential".
The check that Osbourne Cox wrote was returned NSF to him, when in reality it would be returned to the payee.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Mr. Krapotkin asks, about the CD, "PC or Mac"? Most data CD formats are readable by either type of computer, however the character could be asking in case the data is in a format readable only on one type of machine, e.g. a word processor package that exists only for the Mac.
Katie reports that it's 5.2 miles on the odometer from the Cox residence on Olive St. NW to West Potomac Park just off the Lincoln Memorial. It's actually no more than about two miles. This may be deliberate however. Harry often lies to try to impress his dates. Perhaps he had Katie go the long away around to the park so he could take the shortcut back that his about two miles, but implying that it is 5 miles to Katie.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Osborne returns home after being served for divorce, he tries to enter his home with a car key not a house key.
Olive St. is depicted to be a one-way street, from the way the cars are parked. But the "SCHOOL ZONE" paint on the pavement faces the opposite direction to the supposed one-way traffic.
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In the scene where Osbourne Cox receives his notice of insufficient funds, when he looks at the paper, it clearly says "We recently we received..." Clearly whoever typed up the paper was torn between using the word 'recently' or 'received', and, after deciding on one of them, forgot to remove the other.
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The MICR encoding line at the bottom of Ozzy's returned (NSF) check does not have the check number.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

When Osborne has Ted at gunpoint in his basement, his eyes fix at one point (presumably at Ted) as he speaks, while he is pointing the gun at a slightly different direction (outwards to his left hand side). Shooting the gun into that direction (as depicted), the bullet would have flown past Ted's right hand side instead of hitting him.

Continuity 

When Harry is checking on Chad's body in the closet, in one shot he's pushing clothes with the back of his hand and in the other shot he's doing it with his palm.
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Continuity 

After the shooting, Harry picks his gun up in his right hand. As he stands up, he transfers it to his left hand. In the immediate reverse shot, he is still holding the gun in his right hand. Also, the position of his left hand (in a two-handed grip) changes between shots.
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See also

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

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