Hollywood’s Biggest Mistakes in Movies Set in DC

It’s obviously one of the most recognizable cities in the world, making it easy to see why Hollywood just can’t get enough of the DC area. While some of those “realistic scenes” in movies aren’t shot in DC at all, other films do, at least attempt, to take a more authentic approach.

Unfortunately, that sometimes means not letting the real thing get in the way of a great script. It seems Hollywood has made a few mistakes over the years, and eagle-eyed film buffs may be able to spot them.

One of the most obvious mistakes was in a movie called “No Way Out”, featuring Kevin Costner. In one scene, the actor tries to ditch a couple of bad guys in the Georgetown Metro. While it’s clearly labeled Georgetown, there’s no stop in Georgetown at all. It’s been talked about for years but has never been built.

Another film, called “The Invasion”, was also partially filmed in DC, but filmmakers used some shots that locals, and perhaps even some non-locals, may not recognize at all. In the movie, actress Nicole Kidman buys magazines at a sidewalk kiosk. You won’t find those types of kiosks on corners in DC. 

The movie also shows Kidman driving during rush hour. There’s no traffic, and that’s obviously not a realistic depiction of DC, either. In the movie, the announcer on the Metro calls it a “subway”, plus Kidman’s office window shows a lot of skyscrapers, which is an obvious giveaway it’s not DC.

It’s not the only film to show skyscrapers, but DC’s tallest structure, as you may already know, is the Washington Monument. Sometimes movies just get simple facts wrong, too. In a movie called “The Contender”, actor Jeff Bridges calls for a joint session of Congress, which a US President cannot do.

There are also a couple of other non-realistic things that happen. Of course, we must remember, this is Hollywood’s version, and even films that are “based on” real events, sometimes take a few liberties, here and there.

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