When Hollywood Gets It Wrong

Share This:



Member Notes

When Hollywood Gets It Wrong

Some movies are hailed for their attention to physics and astronomy details and applications. But what about those that got it so wrong? Here are some favorite (and least favorite) physics and astronomy mess-ups in movies and TV shows, as submitted by members. Some responses have been edited for clarity. 

Despicable Me, Universal Pictures (2010)

"In Despicable Me, Gru shrinks the Moon and takes it back to Earth. The movie shows the tides going away, but no mass is lost from the Moon. The Moon should have still had its original mass and would've been too heavy to toss around as they do."

–Joe Glichowski, Washington University at St. Louis, Inducted at University of Rochester, 2022 


The Core, Paramount Pictures (2023) 

"Literally the entire movie gets it wrong.
I unironically love how cheesy and awful it is. In high school my class of 20 or so kids all found different physics inaccuracies to write about."

–Brittney Hauke, Pennsylvania State University, Inducted at Coe College, 2016



Armageddon, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Touchstone Pictures, Valhalla Motion Pictures (1998)

"In Armageddon, oil drillers become astronauts so they can drill a hole into an asteroid and detonate a nuclear bomb from the inside to save the world. Enough said."

–Sean Dillon, California State University - Chico SPS chapter


Gravity, Warner Bros. Pictures (2013)

"To mention just one: The space stations and satellites are too close to each other."

–Juan Lebron Medina, University of
Puerto Rico-Mayaguez SPS chapter





Another Life, Netflix (2019)

"About ten minutes into the TV show Another Life, a character says something to the effect of, 'We can't go through the cloud of dark matter—we won't be able to see.'”

–Rianna Ehrenreich, University of Rochester, Inducted at University of Rochester, 2023  


Share What’s New

Your fellow Sigma Pi Sigma members want to hear your news! Tell us about your civic activities, academic activities, honors, promotions, and career changes at sigmapisigma.org/sigmapisigma/radiations/member-news


More from this Department

Member Notes