Volume rendering (VR) represents today's standard three-dimensional (3-D) image post-processing technique, and often is used to visualize complex anatomical information. Recently, a novel 3-D technique for post-processing of computed tomography (CT) image data has been introduced, which is called cinematic rendering (CR). The objective of this review is to illustrate the image appearance and potential value of CR in comparison with conventional VR in a number of various applications and different anatomical regions. Similar to VR, CR best visualizes high density and high contrast structures such as bones and contrast-enhanced vessels, but at the same time provides a more natural and photo-realistic illumination of the rendered data. Further research will be necessary for determining possible advantages of CR over conventional VR and over two-dimensional (2-D) image post-processing for CT image data.