While for movie effect, the script calls out the repeated use of the number "three" as an indicator of fraudulent numbers, the theory behind fraudulent number detection is known as "Benford's Law". The law states that in numbers, such as account transactions, the probability of a number occurring naturally drops, as one moves from smaller numbers to the larger numbers following a logarithmic scale. This law has been successfully used to detect fraudulent accounting transactions.
While it might seem odd for a strong box filled with gold and other valuables to include a copy of "Action Comics #1" (1938) comic book, this issue is valued at over four million dollars in mint condition.
In the hotel room, Dana (Anna Kendrick) reveals that in order to get the money to buy a Vera Wang gown, she taught herself how to play blackjack, and to count cards to determine the chance to win a hand. In real-life, Ben Affleck is known to be such a cunning poker and blackjack card player, that he was barred from several casinos. Not because he cheats, but because of his well-known habit of card-counting. Legal, but against casino rules.
Ben Affleck has stated that this is one of his top five personal favorite performances. This list also includes Batman in the DC Extended Universe, Holden McNeil in Chasing Amy (1997), Tony Mendez in Argo (2012), and Chucky from Good Will Hunting (1997).
In his trailer in the storage unit, there are several Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman. There is also, presumably more than one, of the other comic, which is All American Comics #16, the first appearance of Green Lantern. In front, are several rare and valuable baseball cards. The orange card on the left, is a 1910 Honus Wagner tobacco card, which is one of the rarest, and most valuable baseball cards ever produced. The print run for this card was estimated at only fifty to one hundred cards ever made. All these collectibles are extremely valuable.
In keeping with the "number 3" theme seen throughout the movie, Christian Wolff uses the Mozambique Drill (two in the chest, one in the head) on several enemies. The drill is also called the Body Armor drill. Because many criminals now wear body armor, the shot to the head is if the two body shots do not have any effect. The term Mozambique was probably first coined by Jeff Cooper.
The Luke Skywalker lightsaber seen in Christian Wolff's Airstream Caravan, is actually an unofficial replica of the "Graflex-Flash" lightsaber produced by Parks Sabers. It is set up in the approximate configuration of the "Ranch Saber", the only known, screen-used example, that Luke Skywalker lightsaber to have survived the filming of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), that is held in the archives of Skywalker Ranch. The stand used to hold the saber, is from an officially licenced "Master Replicas" display lightsaber.
Although the film was shot on-location in Atlanta, Georgia, it is set in Plainfield, Illinois, with scenes in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Also, the high school Dana mentions (Naperville North) is an actual high school, from which Bob Odenkirk graduated. The school's math team has won sixteen state championships.
Inside Christian's trailer's closet door is a black and white collection of six "smiley face" pictures with different emotions shown. It's the same picture that is hanging in the Harbor Neuroscience Institute when his parents are talking to the neurologist. Three of them are the same faces he draws on the melons that he uses for target practice.
The fictional Harbour Institute is located in Hanover, NH, the real life location of Dartmouth College's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, one of the leading institutes for the study of the brain and neural activity
Dana and Christian discuss the use of the number "three" as a second digit in the falsified records. When Christian eats breakfast, he makes three pancakes, three strips of bacon, and one fried egg made from three eggs. When he does target practice, he shoots three melons.
Wolff is shown to have Asperger syndrome but is high-functioning and a genius. A real-life example of a highly intelligent, high-functioning person with this syndrome is David Byrne of the Talking Heads.
"ZZZ Accounting" is a reference to ZZZ Carpet Cleaning, a firm founded by Barry Minkow and taken public in the 1980s, which later collapsed due to fraudulent accounting. ZZZ Best's fraud was contemporaneous with Crazy Eddie's fraud, another 1980s accounting fraud mentioned in the film.
The four baseball cards Christian owns, include the famous T206 Honus Wagner, a 1911 T205 Ryan Holblitzell, a 1915 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson, and a 1921 E121 American Caramel Babe Ruth holding a carrier pigeon.
One of the comics in Christian Wolff's caravan drawer is Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman. This is one of only a few items he grabs later, when he is about to go on the run. Ben Affleck played George Reeves, who played Superman in Hollywoodland (2006), and later fought Superman, as Batman, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Also, fought alongside Superman in Justice League.
The film is set in Plainfield, Illinois as well as Chicago, and mentions Naperville, Illinois, Kankakee, Illinois, and Joliet, Illinois, but was actually shot on-location in Atlanta, Georgia, due to their tax incentives being better than Illinois.
In the trailer, when asked, "A CPA accountant?", J.K. Simmons character answers, "Not quite." In the movie he gives a far less cool response, he simply breaths out, and changes the subject, "Okay". Also the talk that the parents of Ben Affleck's character have with the Neurologist in the trailer he mentions, "Your son is a remarkable young man, it wouldn't surprise me if he has more in common with Einstein, Mozart and Picasso then he does with us.", this line is not in the movie.
The car Christian, his father and brother are in, while in Paris, is a Peugeot 505 intended for North American market, distinguished by round quad headlights (European versions had trapezoidal headlamps).
The song featured in the trailer is "Everything in its Right Place" by Radiohead. This is the opening track on their seminal fourth album, "Kid A." The song also plays during the opening scene of Vanilla Sky (2001).
According to a slideshow posted on the "11 Alive" (Atlanta NBC affiliate) website, several Atlanta area locations were used in the filming of this movie, including the Gwinnett County Jail (for Leavenworth) and the campus of Georgia Tech (for the HQ of Living Robotics).
Incorrectly regarded as Errors made by Characters A dented metal thermos made then had glass for insulation. This one, being dented, would not 'work', thereby speaking to the importance of the thing, not its function.
This is the second time that J K Simmons and Anna Kendrick appear in a movie; back in 2009, they both were in Up In The Air. The only difference is that in the previous film they did share screen time together, whereas in this movie, they do not do so.
In Christian's caravan, there is a lightsaber that belonged to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) Hamill has also portrayed the voice of the DC comics villain the Joker in many film and game adaptations, Ben Affleck is Batman at the same time this film was released in the DC Extended Universe.
Alison Wright, who played Justine as an adult, also provides the computer voice, with the English accent, from the computer that Justine uses. Her voice talent is not credited, even though it was more extensive than her on-screen time. Alison Wright was born in England.
Agent Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) mentions to Agent King (J.K. Simmons) that Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) gave $1,000,100 to the Harbor Neuroscience Institute. 1000100 in binary, is equivalent to sixty-eight. Later in the movie, the Institute's director says that one in sixty-eight children is diagnosed with a form of autism.
Chris tells Dana that his father was in the Army, and worked in "Psy Ops", which is short for the Psychological Operations Warfare Corps in the Army. It seen later in the film, at his mother's funeral, that his father is wearing a Colonel's insignia on his Army uniform, and Chris wearing First Lieutenant bars on his uniform. Due to the background in military Psy Ops, it provides reason to the brutal methods their father chose to prepare his sons for survival within the cold world.
A couple of times you hear Justine saying out loud, "heavy sigh". At the end of the movie, we see her using a computer to communicate. The text-to-speech software that she used apparently has no sound for *heavy sigh*, so whenever she uses that expression, the software just pronounces it as is.
There is a third painting featured in the movie, "Woman with Parasol and Child", painted by Auguste Renoir circa 1875. The Jackson Pollock painting, "Free Form", 1946, is his first "drip" painting, to accompany those where he used mops or buckets. But that painting has been altered for the movie, by placing an eye looking askance from the middle, which isn't in the original. The painting is the original for the characters, critically putting meaningful words in Pollock's mouth, so to speak. For Wolff, this is apparently his most valued possession (sentimentally and monetarily, the original being estimated to be worth ten million dollars), telling his computer aid to lower the price of the Renoir rather than sell the Pollock. The movie's addition of the eye, gives the painting a actual meaning, which would be especially important to Wolff, who is autistic. The painting hearkens to an unused verse from the poignant song at the end, which says "I can get through the wall if you give me a door", "To Leave Something Behind" by Sean Rowe. In the theater version, the red in the painting was a bright red, while the Google images of the original, and now in the CD versions of the amended painting, show the red to definitely be an orange-red, enough to make it seem to be more than a color control problem. This hidden in plain sight trivia, which is actually an integral part of a couple of the themes of the movie (society's approach to autism, criticism via example of abstract impressionism), is apparently the first of its kind for Hollywood.
Christian completes a jigsaw puzzle, picture side down, of Muhammad Ali hovering over his defeated opponent Sonny Liston in the first round knockout of their fight in 1965. The same puzzle is framed in Justine's room.
The patch worn by the Colonel and Wolff is possibly from the 193rd infantry brigade as aforementioned by another contributor. However, the 193rd infantry brigade was decommissioned in 2003 (the year Raymond King assigns as the year of the funeral incident). Secondly, the 193rd infantry brigade has a red sword, not a blue sword as seen in the film. These two facts seem to point to the "non-existence" of the two men, in that, as King says, their files are heavily redacted and their names are not legitimate (and are covers). The patch worn by the men somewhat resembles aspects of PSYOPS patches, however, it is likely their patch offers no clues to their identity within the army - just as their names offer no assistance in identifying them.
When Ray is in the van doing surveillance work outside the Gambino family headquarters, he is having coffee (or tea) in a paper cup that is styled with meanders and other ancient Greek art. The Anthora cup is famously sold all over New York.