What happens when we watch feature films or television dramas? Many of our responses to moving-image fiction texts embody "realism" or "truth," but what are we responding to, exactly, and how is our notion of reality or truth to be understood? For film and media students and makers of moving-image fiction in new digital forms, the question of how to get a more objective, rigorous handle on realism has never been more important. In this accessible book, Martin Sohn-Rethel brings a lifetime of teaching film and media to bear on developing a new approach to analyzing the "realism" of the moving image: a set of seven "codes" that plot this tricky field of enquiry more systematically. In doing so, he considers a wide range of film and media texts chosen for their accessibility, including Do the Right Thing (1989), In the Name of the Father (1993), Erin Brockovich (2000), and District 9 (2009).