The bedside chest x-ray (CXR) is an indispensible diagnostic tool for monitoring seriously ill patients in the intensive care unit. The CXR often reveals abnormalities that may not be detected clinically. In addition, bedside CXRs are an irreplaceable tool with which to detect the malposition of tubes and lines and to identify associated complications. Although the image quality is often limited, bedside CXRs still provide valuable diagnostic information. The interpretation of the bedside CXRs is often challenging, and requires extensive radiologic experience to avoid misinterpretation of the wide spectrum of pleural and pulmonary disease. The clinical information is of substantial value for the interpretation of the frequently nonspecific findings.