Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The “Fi” in Sc-Fi — The Biggest Science Mistakes in Sci-Fi Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The release of “Prometheus” inspired the infinitely charismatic astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson to correct not just its mathematics but its arithmetic.   And it inspired Moviefone to create a gallery of the most outrageous science mistakes in sci-fi movies.  These are mostly just continuity errors, not science mistakes, though.  This is a better list of mistakes that show a poor understanding of the laws of physics and engineering. I also like this list.

Advertisement

But the best is this actual physics class presentation about the science errors in the classic of sci-fi: “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”

YouTube Preview Image

The Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum used to have a wonderful claymation video with Albert Einstein explaining how movies like “Star Wars” violate the laws of science.  “They’re breaking my rule!” he would say ruefully.  I’ve been unable to find it online — if anyone knows where it is, let me know.

And be sure to read this terrific piece in the Washington Post about how scientists are working with television and movie writers and producers to make sure that the media presents a more accurate picture of science — and scientists — and to make sure they have access to some of the most exciting new research to help inspire their stories.

  • Kevin L.

    Many consider “2001: A Space Odyssey” to be the most scientifically “accurate” of science fiction movies, but even it contains at least two errors:
    > During the shuttle docking sequence, the shadows do not move consistent with rotating speaccraft.
    > It was a mistake for Dave Bowman to hold his breath when he tuses the emergency airlock.

    At the other end of the spectrum, NASA screens “Armageddon” for its management orientation program, then asks the new managers to spot up to 168 scientific impossibilities in the movie.

    • Nell Minow

      That’s great, Kevin! As a lawyer, I see mistakes in movies about law all the time. My law professor sister threatened to use “The Verdict” as a final exam, asking students to spot the dozens of mistakes.

Previous Posts

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Little Prince
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer. [iframe frameborder="0" width="480" height="270" ...

posted 8:00:24am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Song from the Forest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekirhw2MMwQ I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia ...

posted 8:00:43am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.