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The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In the 1980 Ft. Bragg scene, portraits of President Reagan and Defense Secretary Weinberger are hanging on the wall. Reagan was elected in 1980, but took office in 1981, and appointed Weinberger soon after.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

Norm Pendleton shoots at his fellow soldiers on the courtyard at Ft. Bragg. After each shot, a shell casing drops on the tarmac. During the last shot, Norm stands on a grass patch, where the falling casing would not make a sound.
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Character error 

At the gas station in Iraq, the characters speak Egyptian Arabic, not Iraqi Arabic.
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When Brigadier General Dean Hopgood is introduced, his uniform shows two stars, indicating a Major General. A Brigadier General has one star.
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Continuity 

The morning they wake up in the desert, when Lyn is on top of the car, he leaves a large dent in the car. In the next scene, the dent is gone.
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A helicopter approaches Bob and Lyn as they drink water from the puddle in the desert. When Bob turns over onto his back, his face and mouth are completely dry.
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When Bob awakens in the desert, and runs from the car looking for Lyn, footsteps in the sand show at least one previous take. In the preceding scene, when Bob scans the same area (prior to running from the car), the sand has no footprints.
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In the disclaimer near the end of the credits, the character of Lyn Cassady is identified as Lynn Cassady.
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During the gun fight at the gas station, the black security van is shot in the windshield. The bullet holes disappear in subsequent shots.
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Just before Lyn Cassady hits the rock with the car, Bob Wilton is not wearing his seat belt right. When the impact occurs and the camera pans to Bob, a seat belt holds him in place.
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After they escape captivity, Lyn and Bob chase down Mahmud in the pickup truck. In shots from inside the truck, Mahmud is running in the middle of the road, only veering off at the last moment. All other shots show him running on the side of the road.
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In the desert "cooking dinner" scene, in shots facing Lyn, the blue and silver cooler is within grabbing distance of him. In shots facing Bob, the cooler is 6 steps away from Lyn, near the car. Lyn takes 6 steps to and from the cooler in subsequent shots.
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Bob Wilton raises his arms to surrender as Todd Nixon and his militiamen capture the soldiers. His t-shirt rises up, exposing his navel and midriff. As they escape from the ambush two scenes later, wearing the same clothes, the t-shirt reaches past his waistline.
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The name plate on General Hopgood's desk identifies him as Brigadier General F. Hopgood. Later, he is identified as Dean Hopgood.
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Crew or equipment visible 

After Bob wakes up by the sand dune and sees the goat, an ear plug is clearly visible in his right ear as he gets up.
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Factual errors 

Only a general court-martial can give a dishonorable discharge, and only to enlisted personnel. Commissioned officers receive a dismissal from the service, which carries the same penalties and social stigma associated with a dishonorable discharge.
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When Bob reads The New Earth Army Manual, he identifies "Lao Tze Tung" as one of the great imagineers. It should be either Lao Tze, or Mao Tze Tung.
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At one point, the New Earth Army is asked to help find General Manuel Noriega. He briefly sought refuge in the Vatican Embassy after the invasion of Panama, but U.S. forces knew he was there. Noriega was never in hiding.
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In the opening scene, Brigadier General Hopgood is supposed to be at Ft. Bragg, the home of the 82nd Airborne Division. The unit patch on his left sleeve indicates that he is part of the 2nd Infantry Division, primarily based out of Ft. Lewis, WA and South Korea.
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In the LSD scene at the end of the film, the troops' armored personnel carrier. is an FV432, is a British Army vehicle which has never been used by the U.S. Army.
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Ft. Bragg isn't a training post, but every scene shows troops marching in formation across parade fields.
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In the 1980s Ft. Bragg was an open post, with no guarded access points.
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In the "New Earth Army Presentation- Fort Bragg- 1980" scene, the soldiers wear Woodland Camo BDUs, which first appeared in September 1981.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Bob and Lyn are driving near the beginning of the film, they pass a sign that says "Baghdad" in English, with the Arabic spelling underneath. The Arabic is written left to right in the film, but Arabic reads right to left.
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After stopping the goat's heart the first time, the video monitor shows the goat laying on its side, still breathing.
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See also

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

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