Top 10 Scientifically Inaccurate Movies

Credits: Dan Paradis Fred Humphries
Script Written by Fred Humphries. These are the films that make scientists sick to their stomachs. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 scientifically inaccurate movies. For this list, we’re looking at films that take liberties with their science, by including instances when they try to pass off science fiction as science fact, where the science doesn’t make sense or where the science is changed to serve the plot. Special thanks to our users Spencer Higham, mrturbocrafter and Nyasha Carter for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Scientifically Inaccurate Movies


These are the films that make scientists sick to their stomachs. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting our picks for the top 10 scientifically inaccurate movies.

For this list, we’re looking at films that take liberties with their science, by including instances when they try to pass off science fiction as science fact, where the science doesn’t make sense or where the science is changed to serve the plot. To keep the list grounded, we’ll only be dealing with things that we can say with any certainty are not scientifically accurate, or at the very least are not scientifically feasible.

#10: Mutation
“X-Men” franchise (2000-)

The whole “X-Men” franchise is a serial offender in terms of how it plays fast and loose with how evolution works; so sadly for those wishing to be Wolverine or Professor X, it wouldn’t happen as quickly as the films may suggest, nor is there a gene that would produce such helpful mutations. But that’s not all - these movies are riddled with even more questionable science: we get time travel, mutant cures, the physics of Quicksilver’s speed and Charles Xavier’s re-embodiment, all of which aren’t fully explained or are liberally used to randomly advance the plot. Feel free to read up about all of the inaccuracies in more detail online; you’ll be there awhile.

#9: Cloning Dinosaurs
“Jurassic Park” (1993)

Even though this sci-fi adventure features a very cute informational film starring Mr. DNA, the science that it claims has been pivotal in bringing dinosaurs back to life is just plain wrong. Firstly, DNA has an expiration date, so even if it’s trapped in amber, it cannot be used after 65 million years for the purposes laid out in the film! Secondly, to complete a chain of DNA, you can’t just use different species to fill in the gap. And finally, many of the dinosaurs in the movie are either not from the Jurassic period or are just plainly a false portrayal of their real life counterparts.

#8: Human Rag Dolls
“Transformers” (2007)

Surprisingly, Michael Bay isn’t one for scientific rigor in his movies, as demonstrated by his favoring of ridiculous set pieces and action sequences that are often inconceivable to the human brain. To allow his ludicrous films to play out, Bay often has to bend the laws of physics and this sci-fi action flick really stretches its creative license. Case in point: when a human is falling at near terminal velocity, a huge robot catching you will have exactly the same result as smacking into the pavement: complete evisceration of your bodily form. Even if you are Shia LaBeouf, there’s no way you’re surviving that.

#7: Speed of Climate Change
“The Day After Tomorrow” (2004)

End of the world films like this and “2012” use people’s fear of the effects of global warming to get away with showcasing elaborate natural disasters that are either exaggerated to an enormous degree or that couldn’t actually happen at all. For a start, as seen in “The Day After Tomorrow,” it’s dubious whether melting polar caps would mess with the Gulf Stream to cause a change in temperature, and even if it did, the speed at which it happens in the film is flatly impossible. Furthermore, if a tsunami did hit Manhattan and froze within hours, why on Earth are the buildings not torn apart as ice expands during the freezing process?

#6: PC to Alien Computer
“Independence Day” (1996)

This smash hit disaster film exploited American patriotism to the max and largely ignored the details behind its scientific plot points. In real life, it’s hard enough to create a virus that could affect both Macs and PCs, let alone one that could bring down a whole alien mothership. Even before that happens though, how does Jeff Goldblum manage to read alien technology within just a few minutes when top brains have been working on it for around 50 years? How considerate of the aliens to fit their ships with compatible USB ports…

#5: Super Speed
“Superman” (1978)

Although it was a critical and box office success, the superhero flick’s ending pretty much undid all that happened in the film as Superman flew around the planet at a speed quick enough to reverse time on Earth. In order to move fast enough to travel back in time though, an object would require an unfathomable amount of energy to reach a pace above the speed of light. Even though Supes has a pretty unique set of skills, he wouldn’t be capable of travelling at speeds that would facilitate reversing the path of time. Moreover, building on the “Transformers” rag doll issue, the speed at which he catches Lois would have cut her into shreds - yeesh!

#4: Earth’s Evolution
“After Earth” (2013)

M. Night Shyamalan is at it again in this widely hated sci-fi adventure film where father and son crash land on the human race’s former home planet. How a planet is so well vegetated considering everything freezes over at night is just baffling. Plus, it really doesn’t make sense that everything on the planet has evolved to kill humans since we were surely the dominant species when we left Earth. And any animals on the planet now would have never seen a human, no? Little thought was put into this hot mess of a movie; how stupid did the aliens have to be that they thought it’d be a good idea to make the genetically engineered creatures they used as weapons against the humans blind?

#3: Weird Chick
“Weird Science” (1985)

Okay, we can’t really have expected much in the first place from a film whose title immediately implies that its science will be a little odd. But even so, this teen comedy’s premise is still damn unrealistic. As much as we’d all love to create our perfect woman using a 1980s computer - let alone a modern day one - a doll and a hack into a government system for extra power, any combination of these things wouldn’t bestow life upon the doll - let alone give her a seemingly endless set of powers. It is likewise impossible to turn your brother into a talking pile of poo, but either way, this was still a fun Frankenstein-style flick.

#2: Everything
“Armageddon” (1998)

Mr. Bay put far more effort into creating naughty love scenes for Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler than he did to make this disaster film scientifically feasible and it’s painfully obvious. “Armageddon”’s list of offences includes the fact that there is little chance we’d discover a Texas-sized asteroid that was on a collision course with Earth as late in the game as the characters in the movie do. On top of this, it tried to convince us that said asteroid could be damaged and maybe even split in half by just drilling 800 feet into it, and that a little pea of a comet would not be able to knock an asteroid into our orbit. The number of the film’s improbabilities and impossibilities is so high that NASA has screened it while training new recruits to see if they can spot all 168 heinous mistakes.

Before our top pick infuriates Stephen Hawking, let’s take a look at some dishonorable mentions:
- Brain Power
“Lucy” (2014)
- No Sound in Space
“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977)
- Water Harms Aliens
“Signs” (2002)
- No Chance of Volcano under L.A.
“Volcano” (1997)
- Tornado of Sharks
“Sharknado” (2013)

#1: Impossible Journey
“The Core” (2003)

Yet another sci-fi flick uses excessively poor science to manufacture a disaster that just would not happen. Microwaves can only cause disturbances in our radios and phones, not a worldwide event that threatens the survival of all life on the planet. In addition to this one gigantic neglected fact, the group that tunnels their way to the center of the Earth to use a bomb to set everything right wouldn’t be able to have radio contact for as long as they do, nor would they be able to walk outside of their ship due to the thousand degree temperatures and insane levels of pressure. And so, poor old science takes a beating again in “The Core.”

Do you agree with our list? What films do you think are the biggest insult to science? For more scientifically rigorous top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe WatchMojo.com.
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