NASA Names '2012' the Most Scientifically Inaccurate Film Ever

January 7, 2011
Source: The Guardian


We just recently featured a checklist chronicling bad science in the movies, but now NASA has weighed in with a little science-in-movies feature of their own. In a day-long private meeting at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, some of the top minds in the world met to discuss the film industry's most popular sci-fi movies and their accuracy (or mostly lack thereof) in representing real science. It's no surprise that 2012 was named the most absurdly inaccurate sci-fi film ever with NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous head Donald Yeomans calling it an "exceptional and extraordinary" example of bad Hollywood science - ha!

The Guardian (via The Film Stage/Cinematical) uncovered the story which highlights NASA's problems with 2012 (other than the fact that it sucked). Yeomans says, "the filmmakers took advantage of public worries about the so-called end of the world as apparently predicted by the Mayans of Central America, whose calendar ends on December 21, 2012. The agency is getting so many questions from people terrified that the world is going to end in 2012 that we have had to put up a special website to challenge the myths. We have never had to do this before." I doubt it's just the movie creating the mass hysteria since a lot of people were aware of the potential 2012 apocalypse before the movie, but surely Emmerich's disaster fest doesn't help.

Here's the newly released list of the most inaccurate sci-fi films according to NASA followed by a list of film's most loyal to science on the big screen. Some very interesting and fun picks on both! Check them out:

7. What the #$*! Do We Know? (2004)
6. The 6th Day (2000)
5. Chain Reaction (1996)
4. Volcano (1997)
3. Armageddon (1998)
2. The Core (2003)
1. 2012 (2009)

7. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. The Thing from Another World (1951)
5. Woman in the Moon (1929)
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
3. Metropolis (1927)
2. Contact (1997)
1. Gattaca (1997)

So how do those two lists compare up against this bad science checklist? Also - don't think that just because Jurassic Park made the list that we'll have dinosaurs roaming around in the near future (damn!), but rather the science behind the story itself (thanks to Michael Crichton) that's accurate. Gattaca may perhaps inspire the most fear because of its accuracy, but once again, this doesn't mean that the events in the film will ever actually transpire here in the real world. I think it's fun to think about the real world effects or possibilities of certain concepts in film, especially because I think we all know by now that most of what we see on screen just isn't in the realm of real science. After all the genre isn't call science non-fiction. Is this a better list?

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Hype, Opinions



how about the movie Sunshine?

Leo on Jan 7, 2011


Why would anyone even take notice of what that Nazi organisation has to say?

Silencio! on Jan 7, 2011


who are you...the Bear Jew?

Redguy812 on Jan 7, 2011


You're joking, right?

Derpaderp on Jan 7, 2011



Anonymous on Jan 7, 2011


Godwin's Law invoked.

Edward C. on Jan 8, 2011


2012 was a waste of time, glad i saw it on dvd, dvd bought by a friend. 🙂 i seem to remember thinking i saw all the best parts of this movie in the trailer. The Core however, was a blast, i remember seen it on the big screen and it was entertaining, but then again, i was younger.

Redguy812 on Jan 7, 2011


I'm happy to see Jurassic Park in the "bets" list, since its my favorite movie of all time. =D 2012 was one of the worst movies I saw in cinema, the sfx didnt save the movie.

Dave on Jan 7, 2011


I thought 2012 was one of the most plausible films ever, driving cars out of airplanes, you know.

Crapola on Jan 7, 2011


I especially liked the part about the killer earthquake... not just in regards of lots of casualties, but it looked as if the earthquake was actively trying to kill John Cusack.

Anonymous on Jan 7, 2011


if i was an earthquake i would chase Cusack. Hell i would rip this world apart to get his ass. Oh wait, that happened in 2012? And the earthquake didn't get him? lame.

Redguy812 on Jan 7, 2011


Why didn't the Star Trek films make the worst lists? They and the tv shows have done the "sound in space" bit since day 1, plus the "all aliens look like humans only with plastic facial prosthetics" bit. Ugh.

Pam on Jan 7, 2011


2012 does have 1 redeeming quality as does others of its genre and that is watching stupid people die in stupid ways, I enjoy watching "the Masses" get offed in these films, I consider it revenge for making wrestling the highest rated show on Sci Fi which only just cements the fact that "the masses" do indeed need wiped out! other than that tho it is a pretty awful flick

Jimmy Love on Jan 7, 2011


Although it's shite, The core has one of the best premises for a film! The Earth's core stops working, how do we fix it? send a team in with heavy explosives lol!

Lagoya on Jan 7, 2011


hell I watched it with my brother and we just joked around and added lines into the sucked, and when the Russian girl died we were like "Wtf? she saves the little girl and is in the first compartment and no one even asks or talks about her?" bad movie.

Xerxex on Jan 7, 2011


I'll wait till 2012 before I rush to conclusions... Seriously, that movie was ridiculous. I think the movie itself was a sign the apocalypse is near. But the Jurassic Park is cientificaly acurate? Right, because of all the dinossaurs around us...oh...wait...

Ricardo on Jan 7, 2011


Um... The Passion of the Christ.

Josef on Jan 7, 2011


You must be a terrorist or an atheist.....LOL

Sithmastah on Jan 9, 2011


Only murderers believe it as a plausible film.....LOL

Open on Dec 18, 2012


Passion doesn't have that much supernatural shit in it at all. There's some stuff at the very end, but the movie was basically about a guy being tortured and murdered, and it portrays him as possibly being insane (or, you know, maybe he's actually talking to Satan/a demon... or it could be in his head...) Maybe there's an argument for the human body being unable to withstand that amount of torture / blood loss, but aside from that that movie isn't necessarily 'inaccurate' in a scientific sense.

Anonymous on Jan 9, 2011


is this where our taxes are going to? no wonder Obama got rid of Kennedy Space Center.. tsk tsk. wheres my house on the moon NASA?? dammit!!

mochonko on Jan 7, 2011


The reason the movie 2012 was inaccurate was because the end of the world happened every...except Arkansas.

Brad on Jan 8, 2011


I think it's a little strange that there aren't any movies made after 1997 on the "Best" list and there aren't any made before 1996 on the "Worst" list.

Dr. Hfuuhhruhurr on Jan 8, 2011


probably because "popular" means "shit people have seen or at least heard of" and most people don't watch old movies because they're old and therefore 'suck'.

Anonymous on Jan 9, 2011


NASA will not like 2012, because this movie clearing NASA's Cover-up about final destiny of Earth and humanity.NASA is number 0ne traitor to humanity because of large number of Cover-ups...

Ss Pincode on Jan 8, 2011


i read about this lol

A5J4DX on Jan 8, 2011


I don't know why I wasted my money for a blu copy of this crap. I turned it off halfway but shortly after it hit theaters I knew I didn't want to see it. Everything about it was bad. Roland Emmerich should be kicked out of hollywood and while we're at it so should michael bay.

eli on Jan 9, 2011


Thanks for the list. Now, i wouldn't have to watch those movies.

Annegwells on Jan 31, 2011


I couldn't agree more. I think 2012 just increased the paranoia of the people.

Martincspencer on Jan 31, 2011


What annoys me is that people don't seem to get the point that these ARE NOT science documentaries. They are films created for ENTERTAINMENT. You're supposed to enjoy these films and not think that they have to be 100% accurate all the time. Where's the creativity of an action packed movie in that???

T1 on Sep 20, 2011


every one forgot about journy to the center of the earth with brendan fraser ?

Sk8torodall on Apr 28, 2012

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