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Snowden (2016) Poster

(2016)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (2)  | Continuity (14)  | Errors in geography (2)  | Factual errors (7)  | Miscellaneous (2)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (1)  | Plot holes (1)  | Revealing mistakes (1)

Anachronisms 

Snowden uses a Rubik's cube to smuggle a microSD card out of a secure NSA facility. The cube he uses is a newer Rubik's tiled speed-cube, as evidenced by the small slots on the center caps. Snowden was employed by the NSA in 2013 and went to journalists in 2013; the model of cube he uses was not introduced until 2014.
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In the scene where Snowden goes on his first date with Lindsay, as they walk through the protesters in front of the White House, you can see two red bikes in the background that are part of the Capital Bikeshare. Capital Bikeshare did not begin service until 2010. However, the date takes place around the time Snowden started with the CIA in 2006.
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Continuity 

While Snowden copied the secret data from NSA computer to his memory card, the copying dialog windows change from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 in seconds and change again to Windows 7.
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At the beginning, inside the hotel room in Hong Kong. Before Snowden puts the two cellphones belonging to his guests in the microwave, there are already two different cellphones lying in there. After the point of view switches to the microwave's turntable, the two original cellphones have magically disappeared.
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When Snowden leaves with the evidence in his Rubik's cube, he tells Gabriel he is not feeling well and is going home early. He might also not come in the next day, implying it's a work day. When he leaves the facility, the guard wishes him a nice weekend.
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When Corbin teaches, the light of the projector projects graphics on his face, but in several close-ups of him the projection disappears.
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When Snowden leaves his hotel room for the last time a cellphone can be seen inside the microwave oven.
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The circle around the "FISA" word written on the board in the CIA training is different from what is shown in the next scene.
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When Corbin writes FISA on the board, the text changes between shots, note the circle surrounding it.
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When Snowden throws his credentials on the bed to prove the journalist who he is, their position changes between shots.
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In Hawaii, when Snowden and Lindsay talk outside the house, while she says "this is the last time I'm helping you' her fingers swap from bent around her cheeks, to flat on the face depending on the angle focusing.
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When Snowden walks into the house in Hawaii and Lindsay is talking on the phone, she is wearing only a t-shirt with nothing underneath. Moments later, she is wearing a bikini top under her t-shirt (without having had enough time to change into one).
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When Snowden is making pasta in the kitchen, he pours boiling water into the sink. The steam billows up into his face and clearly fogs his glasses. He suddenly falls to the ground in a seizure, but we see him on the ground in medium close-up his glasses, which were heavily fogged just seconds ago, are completely clear.
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The Pheasant that was presented by the retriever and then handed off by Corbin were stiff and obvious props rather than limp like a freshly killed bird.
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After Ed shoots the pheasants and is talking with Corbin you can see a reflection of monitors/lighting in his glasses.
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After Ed shoots the pheasant and is talking with Corbin you can see a reflection of monitors/lighting in his glasses.
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Errors in geography 

When NSA held meeting with Japanese Agencies to spy on Japanese people, the big map on the wall shown Indonesian archipelago. It should show Japanese because they are in Japan.
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After showing the Geneva landscape with the water-jet, then all the part on the street has nothing to do with Geneva but from another EU country (probably Italy, France or an Eastern EU country). Very strange to indicate Geneva and then showcase another inner city. Indeed, you'll see Snowden on the scooter:
  • crossing a bridge that does not look like any bridge in Geneva;
  • none of main street for cars are paved in Geneva;
  • none of the advertisement in Geneva are made in tubular display panel (the one you see written Elizabeth ad).
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Factual errors 

At the checkpoint at "the Hill", a sniff dog suddenly jumps on Snowden's car window and barks, a "startling" cliché taken from numerous "nazi movies". Sniff dogs are selected and trained to have minimal or no contact with people around them. Even looking at people is discouraged in a dog in order to avoid both distraction (for the dog it is a game) and scaring people (if larger dogs like Rottweilers are used).
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When Snowden copies the files to the memory card he first selects and copies one folder, and a pop up box appears showing progress as you would expect. He then selects all the other folders and drags them to the memory card causing a myriad of copying in progress boxes to appear. While no doubt intended to increase the dramatic tension, selecting and copying multiple folders in this way would only generate one progress box for the entire operation, the only way the multiple boxes would be seen was if each folder was copied as a separate drag and drop operation, not as he did in the scene as a multiple drag and drop. The number of copy in progress boxes also appears to be significantly more than the 13 folders that he has chosen to copy even if they were done individually..
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During the flashback Basic Training scene at Ft Benning, Snowden, along with the other soldiers, repeatedly call their Drill Sgt "SIR". Drill Sgt is an NCO, and therefore NOT a sir. While many new recruits make this mistake once, this fact is drilled into your brain within minutes of arriving, and then repeated over and over to new recruits. The Drill Sgt took no notice of it, an obvious error by someone who has never served in the military.
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While on their first date, Lindsay accuses Snowden of lying about working with the Department of State due to his IP address being from Virginia. The Department of State has field offices all over the world, including Virginia.
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Snowden asks Hank Forrester in their first meeting "Is that a Cray-1?" which Hank acknowledges. The computer that Snowden points to is in fact (part of) a Cray-2.
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The family sheltering Snowden after leaving the hotel appears to be Tamil/Indian. However, in reality Snowden was sheltered by many asylum seekers belonging to multiple nationalities (including two Sri Lankans and one Filipino) until he left for Moscow.
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The Firefox user interface in laptop would be published after October 2013, while the movie time was in June 2013.
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Miscellaneous 

While Janine is video chatting with Greenwald and the others in the hotel room, the video feed Janine sees from their webcam has depth of field with the 2 sitting behind Greenwald out of focus, so it wasn't shot from a webcam. They probably just took the same shot of them in the hotel room and pasted it inside Janine's computer screen.
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While in Japan and Hawaii, many of the women in the military are seen wearing their hair in pony tails. This is not an authorized hairstyle for military women to have while in uniform.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

A long-time Hawaii-based NSA employee advises Snowden in Oahu's Tunnel complex toward the end of his career when epilepsy was becoming problematic to take time off to travel back "the States" to visit his doctor. Hawaii is a state. Even tourists in Hawaii know that the continental US is referred to as "the Mainland."

However, military contractors are often overseas for much of their careers, and have a habit of referring to the US as "the States". Since both these characters have been contractors for years, they both would most likely have become adjusted to saying this, and not "the mainland", which is mainly a local Hawaiian saying.
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Plot holes 

Despite being portrayed as an extremely skilled hacker, Snowden uses drag-and-drop to copy the files to his microSD card in the Hawaii NSA base, exposing himself to being found due to the tens of file copy dialogs that pop up on the screen. Any sort of power user, let alone a hacker, would have used the command line, and would have minimized the window so it wouldn't stay visible on the screen.
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Revealing mistakes 

As Edward and Lindsay walk through the protesters, a woman with a stroller can be seen on Lindsay's side of the screen. In the next shot, the exact same woman is now on Edward's side of the screen, stroller and all. In addition, the "baby" in the stroller is very clearly just a doll.
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Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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