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).
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.
In the opening sequence, an Arabic voice can be heard shouting "Youjed hunak qunbilah" in an accent that 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. Most of the Iraqis who worked with the American army were not highly educated (not that they cared).
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.
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.
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?).
During the sniper scene, Sergeant Sanborn takes off his Kevlar helmet, but 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.
In the scene with the suicide bomber, Sanborn helps James suit up into the protective gear. Sanborn attaches the protective gear to the helmet on both sides of the neck. When James turns to meet 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 can see it is.
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.
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.
When Sergeant Matt Thompson approaches the bomb, he walks down the train tracks. When the camera view switches to inside his helmet, it shows the tracks off to his right and dirt in front of him. When the view switches again, he's back to walking down the tracks.
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.
When the EOD Team prepares to send the 'REMOTEC ANDROS," it 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: "All right, wagon's setup, bot moves."
As the building which holds the "body bomb" is being searched, James and Sanborn are ahead while Eldridge bringing up the rear. When Eldridge rounds one corner there is the clear outline of a crew member standing in front of the camera and he quickly has to step aside so we (the camera operator) can see.
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.
It is apparent that the location set was Jordan, not Iraq. In one scene, a wall displays a Jordanian soccer team's name drawn in Arabic; in another, a cell phone shop has an ad for a Jordanian cell phone provider (Umniah). Both are purely Jordanian.
A bomb is detonated by 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, used especially to avoid such accidents. Similar devices are also used in theaters to preclude spectators from using cellphones during performances and by car-thieves to suppress GSM-based tracking devices.
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.
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. Primer cord explodes but with the force of a M-40 firecracker, not high explosive force. Primacord is, in fact, a high explosive that explodes at a velocity much greater than a firecracker, approx 23,000 fps.
When 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 it's an old model 92 with a round trigger guard, frame-mounted safety, and a deep blued finish. The modern Berettas have combat trigger guards, slide-mounted safety/ hammer drops, and a mat finish. The Beretta 92 has been out of production since the 1970s.
Near the end of the film, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters are seen transporting soldiers to Iraq. In reality, Chinooks are operated exclusively by the US Army, yet here they are shown bearing US Marine Corps markings and colour scheme.
The EOD technicians in the film are shown possessing multiple skills sets (military sniper being one) which are actually completely different job classifications within the US Army. They would have to train in each of these varied job classifications for months or even years ( in addition to their primary skills) before they would be able to employ their skills in combat.
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.
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 and would leave a well-defined bullet hole if shot.
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.
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.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
In the end scene when James returns to the desert, they show two white helicopters flying in. In the next shot they show a C-130 ramp opening, then cut to the inside of the 130 where you can see a litter stanchion. They then cut to him walking away with a flap visible behind his head.
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.
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. A third hand is seen moving flaps aside in the left bottom corner, but in the next shot it's only Staff Sergeant William James in the room. As he yells to his teammates that he has found something, only Sergeant JT Sanborn is seen moving the flaps and entering the room after that. Sergeant JT Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge both wear gloves; the hand that helps Sergeant William James doesn't wear any, but does wear a golden bracelet.
In the final scene where you see James walking, wearing his suit, in the reflection of his 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).
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)