Hello there. I am aspiring screenwriter, trying to develop his craft and writing better scripts. One thing readers have told me is that they feel my stories are not realistic enough in terms of crime and police procedure. But how important is realism in a screenplay, since many movies bend realism for drama? For example, in the movie The French Connection (1971), Popeye Doyle, after being shot at, commandeers a civilian's car, and and drives after the shooter. This is not realistic police procedure, since in real life, a cop is not illegally allowed to "commandeer" a car, and they have to make a phone call, and send other cops after the shooter instead, and wait to see what happens. The reason why they broke this law for the story, is that it's more exciting to see the hero in a high speed chase after the villain himself, as oppose to relying on others. In the movie The Negotiator (1998), a cop is framed for murder, and has his own police force after him. In order to prove his innocence, he finds out who the real killer is by threatening to kill him if he doesn't talk, then when he talk. Then when the hero gets the info he needs, he goes to the villain's house, breaks in, and attempts to remove the evidence to prove who the real killer is. This leads to a police stand off, and the hero manages to trick other villain cops into incriminating himself and he records it. After the dirty cops are recorded incriminating themselves, the honest police then handcuff them and arrest them. However, since the MC got the evidence through threats of death, and breaking and entering, the evidence cannot be used in court cause he broke the fourth and fifth amendment, and it would be 'fruit of the poisonous tree'. The movie ends with the police cuffing the real killers. But even though the real killers, murdered a cop, would the police really cuff them, knowing full well that the evidence, will not be admissible in court? Why bother? The movie ends, giving the audience the impression that the hero got the real killers, when realistically the cop killers would be back on the streets, and the police full well know it. In the movie The Departed (2006), the police follow Costello and his men, to a drug selling transaction. Once the police see them do the drug deal, they send in a SWAT team to swarm in and arrest everyone. This causes the villains to pull out their guns and open fire on the police, causing a big gunfight. This is also unrealistic, cause in real life, the police, do not arrest everyone after the drug deal. Instead they would wait till all the culprits went home, and they would send officers to arrest all the culprits, individually, while each one is alone. The reason why the police wait for this, is so they do not have to engage the culprits all in a firefight, while they all together, as a team of armed men. It's easier to fight one armed man at a time, rather than them all together as a whole. But the writers break this rule as a means to have a big exciting shoot out. In the movie Cell 211 (2009), prisoners have broken out of their cells and taken all the guards hostage. They will kill the guards as well as other prisoners if their demands are not met. After a long stand off, the police offer to pardon the leader of the hostage takers, if the leader kills his fellow men, and saves the hostages. This is also not realistic as the police are not allowed to offer pardons, to a hostage taker, in exchange for the hostage taker to kill his own men. That is not allowed cause it puts the hostages in possibly more danger, even if the pardon comes from the leader of the nation himself, it's still against real protocol. The reason why the writers wrote it this way is cause it makes for one hell of a suspense scenario to play with. So when it comes to readers saying my story lacks realism, what are the rules when it comes to bending it, for the sake of drama, like other moves do?