Today magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of rectal cancer is one of the most interesting topics in radiology. Over the last decade technical refinements have strengthened the role of MRI as a first-line diagnostic strategy for accurate staging of rectal cancer. MRI is perfectly suited to predict tumor-free circumferential resection margins. Additionally, high accuracies have been reported for the T and N stages, which is comparable to transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). Novel approaches to moving table MRI serve as a platform for thoracic, abdominal and pelvic staging of rectal cancer patients within one examination.The broad spectrum of high-quality illustrations and the contribution of clinical experts provide substantial insight into the sophisticated field of rectal cancer management.