A scene shows Jerry and Rachel shopping in a Circuit City store. This would not have been possible because Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in November 2008 while security footage shows the scene taking place January 26, 2009.
During the playing of the National Anthem in the Capitol, we see a number of General officers singing along. Regulations dictate that members are to stand silently at attention from the first note to the last.
During the midst of an investigation "with national security implications" Perez finds a hidden computer device in Ethan's quarters, and with no guidance from any tech experts, plugs it in and assumes that Ethan's password for a highly-classified top secret government computer is his brother's name, "JERRY".
Just before Jerry and Rachel get in the crate, the counter on the briefcase is on 00:05 and beeps every second. The camera cuts to Jerry and we hear 5 beeps. but when it cuts back to the case, the timer is only on 00:02.
When the box containing the valve is at the shipping facility, the address on it is Hasaad Instruments, 6520 Campanela Rd, Chicago IL, 60601. When the package arrives the label says Hasaad Instrument Repair, 86520 Campanela Rd, Chicago, IL.
When Ethan's rank is spoken (on phone video in the chamber he says his rank) and shown on his uniform (memorial service picture shows him wearing sliver bar on shoulder) it is of an officer. But after the retinal scan of Jerry, Ethan's ID card comes up on screen, and it says E8 SMgt. (enlisted rank).
When Jerry is on the train in Chicago, he is going to the Wilson station, which is a red line train and does not go to Quincy which is part of the "Loop". But when he jumps off it is at the Sheridan stop on the red line which is one before the Wilson stop. But when he runs out of the station, he is at the Wilson station.
In the scene where Jerry pulls off the freeway in Indianapolis to confront Rachel, Jerry throws the mobile phone on the car's hood. On the next shot, the mobile is not on the hood, nor lying on the ground.
After Rachel's son Sam boards the train the man arrives to steal Sam's trumpet case. In the shot we see the thief walking towards a pile of luggage and then stopping behind the pile with the trumpet case on the other side of the pile from the man. In the next shot when the man picks up the trumpet case he is suddenly in front of the luggage pile.
Early in the movie when Jerry is on the El train in Chicago, he is shown at the Quincy stop, but the train that he is on is a specific type of train that is only utilized on the Blue line route that doesn't go through the Quincy station. Also, shortly after leaving the Quincy station he is shown at the Wilson station, which is on a completely different train line and would probably require at least 30 minutes to get to even if on the correct train line.
The surveillance camera near the Merry-Go-Round lists its location as 39h48m54.89s N 85h46m34.87s W and the one in Circuit City as 39h48m54.82s N 85h46m34.80s W. The person cooking those coordinates clearly had no idea they were less than 2 feet apart. The aggregate distance should be at least 10 seconds or so apart. Greenfield, IN is on the route between Indianapolis and Dayton, there is no Macy's, Circuit City, or even a shopping mall for miles around.
The intersection at Constitution Ave NW and 10th Street NW where ARIA shows the vehicle of Ethan Shaw and the semi in the collision is incorrect. 10th Street NW does intersect with Constitution Ave but it is not a 4 way intersection as 10th Ave NW is unable to continue across Constitution because it would run into the Museum of Natural History.
The scene in the farm fields under the power lines takes place in Kendall County, Illinois, as shown by the insignia on the Sheriff's cars. Aria had just told Jerry to find Highway 123 east, mile marker 108. There is no Highway 123 in Kendall County. Plus, no "highway" would be an unpaved service road directly under high voltage power lines.
There is no pier (except the mall "Navy Pier"), and especially not a barge-loading dock with cranes anywhere near the Wilson El-train stop (north side of Chicago). The entire northern lake front is 18 miles of bike and jogging paths in a green park area.
In the scene where Jerry pulls off the freeway in Indianapolis to confront Rachel, they are actually located under the complex set of freeways under the 105 and 110 freeways in Los Angeles. There are no freeway interchanges like that in Indianapolis.
Near the end, we see a monitor which shows a train in a subway station, which is referred to as "Metrorail, Orange Line", which does exist, but that is not a DC area Metrorail train. We also see shots of I-5 and I-605, both of which are in California.
When Zoe Perez leaves the scrapyard, a helicopter takes taking her back to Washington. It looks like a variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk, an army helicopter that should bear the United States flag on the rear vertical fin. It has a California state flag on rear vertical fin, which means it is a California National Guard helicopter.
The tower at the "Dayton International Airport" is clearly not the actual tower, which has a very distinctive shape. Also, the interior check-in area of the Dayton airport doesn't have two levels or a huge wall-sized TV, and there are no mountains outside the hangars.
Even if vibrations from the voices on the surface of the coffee cup were large enough for ARIA to read clearly, there is the question of whether ARIA's vision is fast enough to distinguish separate vibrations. The frequency of human voice goes to 2,000 Hz and a common consumer camera samples at most 25 frames per second. If ARIA was limited in this way, the vibrations would blur together and be indistinguishable. However this assumes that the military's most advanced data gathering machine is limited to parts available in electronics super-stores. It's already established in the movie that ARIA transfers data optically from all her data banks using infrared light, which would require a IR camera with an incredibly high sampling rate - more than enough to sample vibrations from a human voice. Visual sampling of vibrations for eaves dropping is done with lasers. It is currently the only way to keep up with the vibrations. While it is true that there are cameras with a frame rate high enough that they might work, the chances that one such camera just happened to be in that room when ARIA needed it is beyond slim. Also, ARIA was looking at the cup through a window. If she could read the vibrations in the cup, she should have been able to read them in the window, and if not, whatever prevented her from reading the window would also prevent her from reading any vibrations beyond the window.
The movie mentioned that the cargo compartment of the C-17 Globemaster III was unpressurized, and the characters required a lowered heart rate due to the lack of oxygen. This is the case when flying aerial delivery missions with the rear door open, but the flight in the movie took off and landed with all pallets on board meaning the cargo door would have been closed the whole flight, and have normal pressurization.
At the funeral, Ethan is shown in an open casket, without a mark on his face. Later we see the accident that killed him; a speeding semi tanker truck t-bones him on the drivers side. The body would have been severely disfigured.
When Aria is pulling up Jerry's brothers information, you can see his military I.D. is all wrong. The I.D. says he is an E-8 (SMSGT) when the brother is supposed to be a 1st LT. The I.D. should show no pay grade (they do this since you promote from 2nd to 1st LT faster than the other officer ranks). It takes around 15 years to make it to E-8 and he is way too young for that rank. Also he is an officer not enlisted. If you are military you will notice a few more things missing.
In the airstrike scene at the beginning of the movie, the MQ-9 Reaper fires two 'missiles' on its outer wing hardpoints. In an earlier shot, however, we can see that those hardpoints have GBU-12 laser-guided bombs attached. GBU-12 is a free-fall munition, not a missile.
The gun used by Agent Morgan is a semi-automatic P226, so it should self cock after firing each round. Yet during the chase sequence in the airport
luggage bay, Agent Morgan repeatedly fires the gun, until such time he
drops it, and it ends up in the hands of Shaw, who aims it at Morgan
and threateningly cocks it - technically it should be already cocked.
At :44 minutes in an explosive crystal in the form of a jewel is sent to a music shop for processing a mounting to ARIIA's specifications. A brief shot of the forwarding manifest is shown with a ship-to address in Washington, D.C. The street is incorrectly spelled as "Massachusets" Avenue, omitting one of the "t's".
This film's events occur in January 2009, centering around the US president's annual State of the Union address. A presidential election would've just occurred in November 2008, meaning this particular State of the Union is taking place just days after being newly inaugurated on January 20th (or, re-inaugurated, in the case of being re-elected). In years when a new president is inaugurated, the outgoing president may deliver a final State of the Union message, but none has done so since Jimmy Carter sent a written message in 1981. In 1953 and 1961, Congress received both a written State of the Union message from the outgoing president and a separate State of the Union speech by the incoming president. Since 1989, in recognition that the responsibility of reporting the State of the Union formally belongs to the president who held office during the past year, newly inaugurated Presidents have not officially called their first speech before Congress a "State of the Union" message. Since this speech is taking place mere days after an inauguration and is being called the "State of the Union", it implies that the sitting president was the one in office during the initial drone strike in Afghanistan and was also re-elected in November.
ARIIA is a highly secret, extremely powerful surveillance and security program hidden deep within the Pentagon, but is only manned by a single operator at any given time without any redundant backup or staffing and can easily be accessed via a freight elevator directly from the loading dock with absolutely no layers of security or checkpoints.
At :30 in, a director nightmare. When Jerry (Labeouf) hops on the train in an attempt to evade his pursuers, there is a man sitting on the train already, wearing a black stocking cap with a skull and crossbones on it. As the train pulls away the guy stares purposely and intently into the camera, breaking the 4th wall, even chaining his neck somewhat to maintain his gaze.
When Jerry Shaw finds several passports in his room, one of them is the USSR passport. While the Soviet Union did collapse in 1991, Soviet passports were valid for 10 years and could be validated for another term at consulates without being changed. A passport issued in 1990 would be valid to be extended until 2020. You get a new passport when you actually visit the ministry.
In the chase scene where Rachel is driving the Porsche, it is revealed that the vehicle has a manual transmission, yet a light illuminates on the dashboard indicating cruise control was activated. Some have mistakenly presumed that manual transmission vehicles do not have cruise control. In actuality, the Porsche Cayenne comes standard with cruise control, as do many other manual transmission vehicles.
At the start, when assessing the probability that they were going to kill the right man, it was initially 37% accuracy. However, the large computer screens in one shot reported it at 51%. Some people assume this is a continuity error, but it is not. The 31% figure is from a picture taken by the mobile phone, and it changes to 51% when taking into account a new, better picture from the aerial drone.
Jerry is the one single indispensable person ARIIA needs to survive until he reaches the Pentagon, yet she repeatedly places him in life-threatening situations that he barely survives thru blind luck - the crane crashing thru the building, jumping from the building and landing in front of a train, a devastating and destructive car chase, an armed robbery/shoot out with security guards, falling electrical wires, slowing his heart function, etc... any single one of which, if failed, would have doomed her plot.
A rogue missile-armed drone heading toward Washington DC destroying ground targets, an armed F-16 mysteriously being downed, and and armed FBI agent running up to security shouting about a threat to the president are all apparently not sufficient events for the Secret Service to take any special precautions with the president and the State of the Union goes on as if nothing is amiss.
ARIIA recruits Jerry and infiltrates him into the Pentagon, ostensibly, because she needs him to override the security protocols Ethan put into place and permit her to go ahead with Operation Guillotine. This seems completely unnecessary since, by the the time that happens near the end of the film, the large majority of elements of the operation to kill the president and cabinet have already happened or already in place - the hex has been diverted and fashioned into a bomb and the band is in place to detonate the bomb. What kind of security protocols would allow her to commit large-scale acts of destruction/murder and complete 99% of the plot to destroy the government, but need one final override at the last minute to go thru with it...?
When they are arguing under the power lines, ARIIA makes one of the power lines explode off the power line and kill someone. This is impossible, as there is no way to pinpoint a surge of electricity to a single location like that. If anything were to happen at all during a surge a breaker or fuse would blow. The part of the line that explodes contains no breakers or fuses - it's just insulators keeping the wires from actually touching the power poles. It would be virtually impossible for ARIIA to cause the lines to explode at that precise point, let alone fall in such a specific manner as to target a specific person at a specific point on the ground.
Ethan becomes aware of ARIIA's plot and, for no explained reason, rather than taking ANY obvious steps to alert his chain of command or the Secretary of Defense, chooses an obscure and nearly unnoticeable method of communicating the plot to his superiors, then leaves work without notifying anyone and drives home as if nothing is wrong.
Apparently, pharmaceutical companies ship experimental heart medications in armored cars with armed guards, in suitcases that are timed to open on their own (even if no one is around at the time) at the precise moment military cargo planes miles away are scheduled to take off, and with injectors ready to be used on a whim.
While the need to involve Jerry becomes clear during the film, there is no logic to bullying Rachel into being involved. Each task could have been done by some hired petty criminal. Her actual connection to the final events, though real, is irrelevant and in fact a potential flaw in the plan.
When the crane crashes into the building to allow Jerry to escape interrogation, he looks down and sees subway tracks with pedestrians standing by. He jumps and proceeds to land and avoids being hit by the an oncoming train. During this whole scene all pedestrians just don't happen to notice the sound of the huge collision between the crane and the building or any of the falling debris.
When Jerry jumps off the train track and stands while the train rushes past him, his jacket should have waved freely in the wind created by the train. His jacket remained very still, looking unnatural and indicating that the train was not really there in the scene's filming.
When the MQ9 Reaper is started remotely by ARIA and moves out of the hangar, you hear the (popping) sound of a piston aircraft engine starting. The Reaper is a turboprop aircraft equipped with a Honeywell TPE331-10 turbine engine, which has a distinctly different (whining) start-up sound.
When Jerry's personal information is displayed in Circuit City, his Drivers license number is incorrect. It is displayed as "P142-4355-6170". Illinois drivers license numbers are based on your gender, name, and DOB, and always starts with the first letter of your last name. In addition, the last number of the second sequence and the first number of the third sequence are the year of birth. In this case, Shaw would have been 52 years old.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
During the performance of the National Anthem, the camera moves in on Sam playing the trumpet. To his left is a violin player. In the next shot, ARIA's point of view, a xylophone player is to his left.
In the scene where the Reaper drone is scrambled to kill Jerry, missiles are visible under the wings; in the next shot of the Reaper taking off into the night, there are no missiles or hardpoints for mounting visible under the wings.
The sonic trigger gets hidden in the tubing of the trumpet, set to activate on a particular note. However, that trigger would have blocked at least most of the air in the trumpet, rendering it unplayable, even by an expert, and certainly not by a young child.
As seen during the test of the Hex the sonic trigger is activated by a can of compressed air. The trumpet configuration shows that the valve was placed before the keys and all the trigger needs is an air flow strong enough to make the "whistle" frequency. This means the frequency is generated the moment someone blows into the trumpet and does not require any special note.
High-tension towers are specifically designed to handle lightning strikes, which are much more powerful than any spike a computer might be able to trigger in the wires, so there's no way ARIA could have caused a line to fall. Additionally, any such spike would have first shut down the circuit, long before reaching a level that could burn through a wire.
The computer, ARIA, lists 12 targets to eliminate in the US presidential line of succession in order to install the Secretary of Defense as the President. In reality, ever since the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the Secretary of Defense has been sixth in the line of succession (after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Secretaries of State and the Treasury), so ARIA should have known that it only needed to eliminate six targets (including the President).
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: While the F note that is supposed to trigger the detonation does indeed occur earlier in the anthem, it is much more extended at the word "free", and the music director does even instruct the children to put special emphasis on that particular note. Hence, we can assume that it takes a specific length and/or strength of that note to trigger the explosion, and that the music director probably has been instructed by Aria to make the children produce such a note.
Given the level of sophistication of Aria, it's highly improbable that she might be completely shut down by breaking her main camera/eye, as Agent Perez does at the end. However dialogue indicates that the "eye" module also contains her CPU, as illogical as that may appear, and it's reasonable that it was damaged by the attack.
At the end of the film where Jerry fires his gun to disrupt the playing of the band, and thus the explosion of the crystal, he puts himself in plain sight and is clearly shot three times; twice in the back, and one from the front, which causes him to collapse. While this almost certainly would have been fatal if he were still in civilian clothing, he was wearing the uniform of a US Capital Police patrolman, and likely would have been wearing a ballistic vest beneath the uniform, increasing his odds of surviving such an incident.
Some have pointed out that there was no need to use Rachel to deliver such a complicated bomb device to the capital building. Since the ARIA was able to control military aircrafts it could have logically used those to bomb the building instead of relying on a hostage to deliver the bomb which is much less reliable. However, a direct military strike would definitely cause suspicion within the army, and it would seem that ARIA had initially planned to be much more discrete.
Some have mistakenly presumed that ARIA's CPU is in a pool of liquid nitrogen. This however, is not the case. The Major said while looking at ARIA and the object above her support structure, "...it's like her brain protected by liquid nitrogen, we drain it and she'll fry." The object above the support structure houses the CPU and coolant. You will notice in the scene before the Major gets knocked off into the water below, that he is above ARIA on her support structure accessing the coolant.
There is no logical reason for there to be an open pool of water in ARIA's room. Maintaining a constant humidity in a data center is critical, and an open pool of water would make that difficult to impossible.
When Agent Thomas Morgan chases Jerry and Rachel in the middle of luggage, ARIA helps them by activating the door-opening electronic device, without a badge. Then Morgan asks for a guard's badge to activate the same door. As ARIA controls everything, why didn't she simply block the badge reader to prevent Morgan from going on?
Aria had originally intended for our heroes to take a regular flight, and only put them on the unpressurized C-130 as an improvised alternative. So why did they have to steal the experimental heart drug to protect them during unpressurized flight long before Aria knew that they would be taking one?
Given that ARIA's programming allows her to read, comprehend, interpret, and apply the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; she would have identified MANY inconsistencies already, without having to wait for the ill-advised attack on the desert convoy at the beginning of the film.
The sound-activated bomb detonator in Sam's trumpet is set to activate when it detects a sound of a particular frequency. The "Operation Guillotine" mastermind set the detonator to activate when it detects the second F above middle C, so the bomb would explode during the word "free" in the final verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (assuming the anthem is played in B-flat major, as it is in the film). The same note occurs earlier, at the words "red glare". A bomb set to detonate when it detected the note in question would explode then. In the film, however, the band and Sam play that part of the melody without incident.