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The Hurt Locker (2008) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

One character says an Iraqi with a video camera is preparing a clip for YouTube. The scene takes place in 2004. YouTube was created in 2005.
Specialist Eldridge plays Gears of War on an Xbox 360 when Colonel Cambridge enters the room to counsel him. The Xbox 360 was first released 2005; Gears of War debuted in November 2006. Yet the setting is Baghdad in 2004.
In the movie, all the soldiers are wearing the digital ACU (Army Combat Uniform). While the opening scene takes place in Baghdad in 2004, the first units to be issued the ACU did not receive them until February of 2005. The correct uniform for the time period would have been the three color DCU (Desert Combat Uniform).
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The three Ministry songs played in this movie were from the album Rio Grande Blood, which was released in 2006. The movie is set in 2004.
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When the EOD team goes out to meet the soldiers who abandoned their vehicle at the beginning of the movie, one of the soldiers is wearing body armor with deltoid (upper arm) protectors. These were not introduced until late 2007/early 2008.
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The Army ACU uniforms worn did not come into service until 2005.
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Character error 

In the scene with the body bomb, the Lieutenant Colonel tells the Iraqis to leave by saying "Ishmee!" The proper term in Iraqi Arabic is "Imshee!"
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LTC Cambridge wears two U.S. flags on his ACUs. The flag is only worn on the right shoulder. The spot on the left shoulder where he wears the extra flag is reserved for special skill tabs.
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In the opening sequence, an Arabic voice can be heard shouting "Youjed hunak qunbilah" - the accent is clearly not Iraqi. There is also a grammatical error, but it is a normal error, given the fact that most Arabs don't usually speak excellent standard Arabic, in addition most of the Iraqis who worked with the American army were not highly educated, not that they cared.
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Continuity 

In both the opening scene and the desert scene, the angle of the sun mysteriously changes from north, south, east and west to directly in front, to behind, low on the horizon, then directly overhead and suddenly no shadows at all (a slightly over cast day of shooting that part of the scene perhaps?).
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After James drops off Sanborn at his barracks, he proceeds to drink some liquor from a bottle before placing it on the table. He puts the bomb suit helmet on in a close up and once the camera zooms back out, the bottle is clearly on the floor next to his bed.
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When James is running from the suicide bomber, unable to disarm the explosives, his protective visor is up, when the bomb explodes the visor is down.
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After Sanborn puts Thompson's dog tags into the box with Thompson's effects, another soldier puts a cover on the box. In the cut immediately following, Sanborn is looking into the box and the cover is not on.
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The last name of the Specialist in the EOD team is "Eldridge," according to his uniform shirt, but in several sequences the name "Eldrich" is clearly visible stitched into the elastic band around the character's Kevlar helmet.
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The wheeled 6x6 APC appearing right after the Humvee in the opening scenes is not a US Army vehicle, but a South African made Ratel modified in Jordan with a Ukrainian KMDB BAU-23-2 turret.
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After Williams puts the car out from being on fire you can see in a close up on his helmet the reflection of the flames still burning.
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When James goes to little Beckham's house its the middle of the night, but once inside, sun is shining in through the windows. The only possible reason is if there is daybreak, but once outside, its night again.
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In the scene with the suicide bomber, Sanborn helps William to suit up into the protective gear. Sanborn attaches the protective gear to the helmet on both sides of the neck and then when William turns to go the suicide bomber, it is clearly seen that the right side portion of the protective gear near the neck is not attached to the helmet. But right in the next scene, you will see that it is attached to the helmet.
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When James carries the boy's body out of the building facing the camera, the boy's head is sagging off his arm when he's facing the camera, but resting against his chest when the camera's behind him.
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In the scene where the team is clearing the building before finding 'Beckham', SPC Eldridge is wearing E-5 rank on his shirt.
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In the opening scene the EOD Team prepares to send the 'REMOTEC ANDROS" appears with and without a gray riveted box with three short black whip antennas on it. When this box is in-scene it is attached on the left side of the articulating arm's main anchor point. The most obvious point where the box is missing is when they hook up the wagon "Alright, wagon's setup bot moves".
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When James initially hands Sanborn the Barrett M107 magazine, before Eldridge cleans it off, the rounds in the magazine have no bullets. In the next shot, when Sanborn receives the magazine, the rounds have bullets in them.
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In the opening scene, when Sergeant Matt Thompson is approaching the bomb he is walking down the train tracks. When the the camera view is switched to inside his helmet it shows the tracks off to his right and dirt in front of him. When they switch views again he's back walking down the tracks.
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After James puts out the car fire and gets in the car, there are absolutely no scorch marks on the pavement around it. Furthermore, he would not have been able to touch or enter a car that had been burning so furiously because it would be too hot for quite some time.
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During the sniper scene, Sergeant Sanborn takes off his Kevlar helmet. However, when the shot goes to Sergeant James, Sanborn can briefly be seen wearing the helmet. When it goes back to a close-up of Sanborn, the helmet is off again.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Sgt. James is removing the bomb from Beckham's stomach, you can see a crew member in the background behind the curtain, when Sgt. James is supposed to be the only person in the building.
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When James passes through the plastic cover in the area with the rotting body, a hand can be seen helping James opening it.
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In the scene with the man with the suicide vest, what appear to be the outline of knee pads under his pants are visible as he goes to his knees.
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After the contractor leader is killed, another contractor is telling by radio he is receiving incoming fire, you can see a moving head in the background.
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In the desert stand-off, after shooting the enemy sniper, a rock to Sanborn's right side is completely in shadow. The shadow is cast by a parasol on a tripod which is positioned to protect the actors, but has been moved aside for the shot. The parasol is on a stand, which casts a shadow across the foreground in front of the actors.
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Errors in geography 

It is apparent that the location set was Jordan, not, Iraq. In one scene, a wall shows with a Jordanian soccer team's name, drawn in Arabic on it. And in another scene, a cell phone shop with an ad for a Jordanian cell phone provider (Umniah). Both are purely Jordanian.
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Factual errors 

In the opening scene a bomb is detonated by a cell-phone. Every anti-bomb team carries a small device which, when turned on, suppresses all cellular transmissions within several hundred meters around the device, especially to avoid such accidents. Similar devices are also used in theaters to preclude spectators from using cellphones during performance and by car-thieves to suppress GSM-based tracking devices.
Jeremy Renner is credited as "Staff Sergeant William James," an E-6. But his character wears the rank of an E-7, Sergeant First Class (3 chevrons and 2 rockers).
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The flags worn on the right sleeves of the soldiers are not correct. The flags have the canton (field with the stars) on the upper left, as is the 'usual' custom, yet Army regulations stipulate that flags worn on the right shoulder should have the canton on the upper right, as if the flag is affixed to a staff at the front of the soldier and the flag is blowing in the wind as the soldier moves forward.
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The bombs pictured would not have to be "disarmed" as portrayed. The military munitions were fused with primer cord. Simply cutting the primer cord would have isolated the bomb from the electrical cap ignition circuit thereby making it inert. Primercord explodes but with the force of a M-40 firecracker not high explosive force. Prima cord is in fact a high explosive and explodes at a velocity much greater than a firecracker, approx 23,000 fps.
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In the scene where Eldridge is observing the goats on the bridge, his Aimpoint CompM2 is shown with zoom capabilities. The real Aimpoint CompM2 is a red dot sight, and has no magnification.
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In the scene where James pulls his side arm on the cab driver. The pistol he holds is not the military issue M-9, or civilian Beretta 92F, but a much older Beretta 92 model that has never been issued by the US Millitary. It looks like its an old model 92 with a round trigger guard and frame mounted safety and deep blued finish. The modern Berettas have combat trigger guards, slide mounted safety/ hammer drops and are a mat finish. The Beretta 92 has been out of production sense the 1970s
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The rank abbreviation shown on Staff Sergeant Thompson's box of personal belongings is "SGT" which is incorrect. The correct abbreviation for Staff Sergeant in the US Army is "SSG".
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Eldridge uses his CamelBak to clean the Barrett M107 magazine, the hose is coming from the right side of the sack. The CamelBak hose can be positioned over any shoulder and will not impede someone shooting.
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Revealing mistakes 

James would not have been able to put out the raging car fire with a single medium sized fire extinguisher.
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The "radio" that SSG (or SFC) James wears on his head is really only ear protection with built-in mics to allow one to hear normal conversation. It has the capability to be connected to a radio, but his isn't.
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When the Iraqi cab driver runs the line and stops inches from James, James pulls his gun and eventually shoots out the car's windshield. The glass shatters as though constructed of tempered glass. A typical windshield is constructed of laminated glass a would leave a well-defined bullet hole if shot.
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In the opening sequence where a bomb is detonated by a cell phone, a closeup of the phone shows a randomly entered number, and when the actor presses "Send" to detonate the bomb, the phone, almost out of frame, partially reads out "Not allowed" with a stop sign icon.
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After the Barrett jams and James hands Sanborn the magazine of .50 cal rounds before the blood gets cleaned off there is a scene where the magazine only has empty cartridges in it, without any bullets.
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The ACOG sights mounted on James' and Sanborn's M4s are clearly replicas. ACOGs only have 2 knobs used for windage and elevation, the ACOGs in the movie have three knobs.
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When James shoots out the cab driver's windshield, it shatters a split second before he moves the pistol to the left and shoots at it.
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Several close-up shots of Eldridge with his M4 are flipped. The forward assist is on the left side of the M4 in those shots; in reality, they are on the right side of the receiver.
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When James shoots the ground near the cab, a camera shot behind the driver shows him flinching towards the bullet. The next round fired is over the driver's right side, he flinches the same way.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When James attempts to disarm the man wearing the bomb vest, the victim's explosives are lined with row upon row of nails. Yet when the victim explodes and James is caught within the blast radius his protective suit is remarkably nail free.
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Continuity 

In the end scene when James is going back to the desert they show two white helicopters flying in and in the next scene they show a C-130 ramp opening, then cut to the inside of the 130 and you can see a litter stanchion and then they cut to him walking away and a flap is visible behind his head.
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Crew or equipment visible 

In the final scene where you see James walking wearing his suit in the reflection of the helmet a crew member in a blue or gray shirt can clearly be seen. James is walking down an empty road with no one in front of him (as you can see in the following shot).
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Sergeant William James enters the "room" where the dead Beckham lies. He walks through the plastic flaps. Using his right hand and then his left hand which holds the gun, to move the flaps. Yet a 3rd hand is seen moving flaps aside in the left bottom corner. But in the next shot it's only Staff Sergeant William James who is in the room. As he yells to his team mates that he has found something. Only then Sergeant JT Sanborn is seen moving the flaps and entering the room after that. Sergeant JT Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge are both wearing gloves. The hand that helped Sergeant William James, doesn't wear any, but does wear a golden bracelet.
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Errors in geography 

When SSG William James is back in the United States grocery shopping, it has been established that there are Canadian exclusive products revealing the filming location. Further inspection reveals several of the products to be Co-Op Gold products which are exclusive to Co-op grocery stores (most visible on green and red cereal bar boxes.) However Co-op does not have a store in Vancouver and no other Canadian city is mentioned in the credits. (there are several "Co-operative" style stores in Vancouver but not this specific company)
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See also

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

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