- Adaptation Displacement: The movie is based on a short story from 1973.
- Audience-Alienating Premise: The 2002 remake. Remaking a dystopian sci-fi film and removing the dystopian sci-fi? That's going to a hard sell for any audience.
- Awesome Music: At the very beginning and very end of the film, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
- Slipknot as street performers in the remake.
- The remake has an entire scene that is filmed in a grainy green as if through night vision goggles. The reason for this is never explained, and afterwords the scene goes back to normal looking and the whole thing is never mentioned again.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The film is a protest against violence. However, director Norman Jewison said that, to his horror, a group was interested in financing a real-life version of the game, but the studio said no.
- Narm: The use of classical music, to some, makes parts of the movie seem rather pretentious and thus hard to take seriously.
- Retroactive Recognition: In the original Robert Lee (a.k.a. Taro in Mind Your Language) has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance as an Energy Corporation executive.
- Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: As if the film's Crapsack World wasn't depressing enough, Jonathan's victory in the end occurs at such a high price that it's almost completely meaningless. And given the general state of things, his little insurrection is probably doomed to fail anyway. As such, viewers may find it difficult to care about what happens to anyone.
- Values Dissonance: Moonpie and his teammates make tons of racist remarks towards their Asian martial arts teacher and the Japanese team. Jonathan is somewhat more respectful.
- Values Resonance: With the recent issue on unpaid College Athletes along with pay gap between the players and business owners, the film's critique of spectator sports' profit over welfare towards the athletes became relevant decades later.
- WTH, Casting Agency?: Jean Reno as the Kazakh Big Bad in the remake. No, really. Karim Debbache sums it up accurately:Karim: In the French dub, Jean Reno speaking French with a broken Russian accent dubs Jean Reno speaking English with a broken Russian accent.
YMMV / Rollerball