15 Things That Hollywood Always Gets Wrong

While Hollywood films are extremely entertaining they are not always realistic. Of course, there are exceptions. Historic dramas and biographical films have to adhere to facts somewhat. But even they fail to portray event realistically. Most of us don’t notice these inaccuracies however because we are so immersed in the plot.

In what world do sharks roar?!

However, while historic dramas and biographical films may at least attempt to be somewhat realistic, other films don’t even bother. Film directors know that we as viewers are just looking to be entertained and the unfortunate truth is that reality very often gets in the way of amusement and drama.

So it is not surprising that Hollywood directors very often choose drama and tension over reality. Some people may grumble about the inaccuracies they encounter but most people will wave these complaints off and argue that you shouldn’t believe everything that Hollywood tells you anyways.

15. Lawyers Don’t Spend All Of Their Time In Court

When it comes to movies about lawyers we always see the latter spending all of their time in court, litigating cases. We never see other types of lawyers, such as tax lawyers or solicitors who spend most of their time performing boring tasks such as drafting wills and trusts.

According to Ashima Dayal, an intellectual property lawyer, that’s because the dispute that a lawyer has to solve ads drama – “Almost everyone is a litigator or works on disputes. The dramatic arc is always about a dispute. That lends itself to depicting litigators. What’s really exciting about watching someone give advice on how to create a tax shelter?”

In addition, even litigation lawyers in real life don’t spend all their time in court. In fact, most of their time is spent in the office going through case notes and preparing arguments.

14. You Can’t Knock Someone Out In One Punch

In Hollywood movies the hero often has the magical ability of knocking out one of the bad guys with just one punch. However, while that seems impressive it is absolutely improbable. There is no way someone could knock someone out with just one punch in real life.

Let’s take a boxing match as an example. Boxers are basically professional punchers and even they are not capable of knocking out their opponents with just one punch. And if they do knock someone out in one punch the person who ends up on his back is back up in no time.

13. Everyone Always Graduates From School In Hollywood

High school life is a popular theme in Hollywood films, and always has been. Think of films such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Heathers. In these films, high school is populated with goths, jocks, and nerds and each and every one of them always graduates despite the difficulties they face.

However, that is not always the case in real life. Remember the film American Graffitiset in 1962 California? The film showed all four friends struggling with the imminent freedom of adulthood yet they all somehow managed to graduate. In reality however, only 60% of high school kids ended up graduating in 1962.

12. Sharks Don’t Roar In Real Life

As technology has improved so has the ability of film makers to depict realistic looking monsters and predators. However, that doesn’t mean that the predators you see on screen today will behave like those in real life.

The shark expert Joshua Moyer says that his greatest pet peeve when it comes to films is seeing sharks roar – “It is a pet peeve of mine when I’m watching a movie and a shark roars as it attacks. No shark roars. Period.”

According to Moyer, the more screen time sharks have, the more unrealistic they are – “The more screen time sharks have, the better the chances that a filmmaker will take liberties with the truth to make the story more entertaining.”

11. Quick Death Is Unrealistic

In films, it doesn’t take long for characters to die. A good guy will shoot a gun or throw a knife and almost instantly the bad guy will go down, desperately clutching at his wound, gasping for air. And then he’s gone. Just like that.

However, that doesn’t actually happen in real life. In real life, barely anyone will die in an instant, at least not from a gunshot or a knife wound. Instant death is more likely to come from heart attacks, strokes, abnormal heart rhythms and metabolic poison.

For a gunshot or a knife wound to kill a person instantly, the bullet or the knife would have to seriously damage the brain, the heart or the neck part of the spinal cord. In most cases, bullet or knife wounds to the chest or stomach usually result in extreme pain and lots of screaming. In these cases, death comes from bleeding which can take a while.

10. Hospitals Are Not Actually Great Places To Have A Romance

We all love a good medical drama but some of the things that happen on medical films and TV shows are absolutely improbable. Take all that romance for example. If doctors and nurses were hooking up as much in real life as they do in films and TV shows they would have absolutely no time left for their patients.

Most doctors have no time to date their colleagues. And if they did, they probably wouldn’t because just like in any other workplace dating your colleague could seriously damage your career and reputation.

Let’s also not forget that most doctors in real life are middle-aged or older as opposed to young, single and extremely attractive as depicted by medical films and TV shows.

9. Black Eyes Don’t Just Disappear The Next Day

We’ve all seen it – the beautiful actress or actor is punched in the face by the bad guy and is suddenly sporting a black eye. So far, that’s realistic. In the next scene, we see the actor or actress hiding the black eye behind sunglasses. That’s also realistic.

However, in the scene that follows we see the actress or actor with a clear complexion again. The black eye is missing. They look perfect. Somehow, their black eye lasted only a day or two.

In real life, black eyes don’t just disappear suddenly – they last for about two weeks or so. While the bruise would begin fading in a couple of days, it would turn a sickly greenish, brownish and yellow before it disappeared completely.

Why is that? Well, a black eye is basically a bruise that results by blood leaking from small blood vessels that are injured by the punch. It takes your body around two weeks to get rid of all the tissues.

8. Lawyers Can’t Actually Harass A Victim

Sometimes things can get a little heated in Hollywood courtrooms. Lawyers may harass the witness in order to extract the necessary information and thus win the case.

But no lawyer can get away with harassing a witness in real life. For example, the lawyer and crisis communicator Jamie Wright says that the 1997 movie The Devil’s Advocate is particularly bad when it comes to depicting what really happens in a court room – “I love Keanu Reeves, but the depiction of him cross-examining the child on the witness stand accusing the teacher of molestation was nonsensical. “

She also adds – “In a lot of the shows, the prosecutor asks questions that are badgering and harassing and the opposing lawyer never says anything. This would not happen in real life. In real life the opposing counsel would object and accuse the prosecutor of harassing the witness and the judge would instruct the jury to disregard some of the harassing questions and answers.”

7. Knowing The Exact Time Of Death Is Impossible

How many times have we been impressed when watching a crime film? We’ve been impressed with the methods the police team employs when catching the killer, the thought-process involved, and the team’s self-defense skills. However, the most impressive aspect of finding

the killer must be how the medical examiner can so accurately predict the victim’s time of death.

In most crime films, the medical examiner confidently tells the police investigation team that the time of death was “eight thirty PM” judging by “body temperature” or “lividity”. However, in most cases that level of accuracy is impossible in real life.

In real life, the medical examiner usually says something like “the death likely occurred between 7 PM and midnight”. That certainly sounds less confident and cool but it is far more realistic.

6. Most Poison Takes Days To Kill

We’ve all seen a Hollywood poison death scene at least once – the actor or actress drinks poison-laced tea, clutches at his or her throat and falls down, dead. These types of scenes certainly add to the drama. However, dying instantly from poison is very unlikely in real life.

Unless poison is fast-acting it won’t kill for a few hours or even days. Fast-acting poisons are hard to get however. Any readily available poison will kill much more slowly and will likely cause the victim to develop stomach pain, vomiting, nausea and sometimes even bloody diarrhea, something we’re sure film makers don’t want to depict.

5. You Wouldn’t Know You’re Being Hacked In Real Life

You know those movie scenes where the hacker hacks into someone’s computer? It is always so obvious that computer hacking is taking place. The screen of the computer that is being hacked suddenly goes nuts – weird text and skulls flash on the screen at blinding speed and all the important files suddenly disappear, one by one.

In a lot of cases, the person whose computer is being hacked starts opening and closing files and that somehow stops the hacking from continuing.

However, in real life people who are being hacked will not know that until well after the fact. Good hackers know how to do the job properly and know how to avoid being caught.

4. In Real Life Things Don’t Explode As Easily

If you shoot or crash into a car or a computer device in a Hollywood movie, there is a ninety percent chance that the car or the computer device will blow up.

Of course, scenes where things blow up add dramatic tension and make the Hollywood movie viewer gasp. But they’re extremely unrealistic.

In real life, the scenario of a car or a computer device blowing up is absolutely improbable. Neither a car nor a computer device would ever blow up unless they were rigged with a large amount of explosives.

3. There’s No Such Thing As Untraceable Poison

When Hollywood crime films want to make things really interesting they will get the villain to kill someone with untraceable poison. The only problem is, untraceable poison does not exist in real life. But of course, that doesn’t stop Hollywood film makers from pretending that it does.

In real life, a well-qualified forensic toxicologist is capable of finding traces of any chemical or its metabolites that exist. The recent advances in technology have resulted in the creation of extremely advanced machines such as gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy allows forensic scientists to determine the fingerprint of any chemical that exists!

2. Not Everything Can Be Done Online

While it is true that computers and the internet are becoming more and more powerful, it doesn’t mean that absolutely everything can be done via a computer. Although it seems that Hollywood wants us to believe otherwise.

In movies, everything can be done online. You want to change your grades? You can do it online. You want to launch a missile? You can do it online. You want to trigger someone’s sprinkler system? You can do it online.

Obviously, you can’t actually do all that online. Plus, in real life, extremely important systems that involve death or explosions or other important matters are isolated from public computer networks for safety purposes.

1. The Hero Would Never Stand Still In The Middle Of A Battle To Take It All In

You know those scenes in war films where the hero stands around in the middle of the battle scene to take it all in? Everyone around him is fighting and dying but the hero remains magically untouched. It’s a classic scene that Hollywood uses over and over again for dramatic effect.

However, in real life, heroes and soldiers never stood still in the middle of battle. First of all, battles were very rarely fought in such an open order that is depicted in Hollywood movies anyways.

And secondly, if battles were fought in an open order, then the hero would have known better than to stand in the middle of the battlefield since he would have known that a stationary target is far too appealing for soldiers on the other side.


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