How to Cite a Movie in APA Style | Format & Examples

This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

To cite a movie in APA Style, list its director(s) in the author position and the production company as publisher. The title is written in sentence case and italicized, followed by the label “Film” in square brackets.

The in-text citation includes the last name of the director, and the year. If you are referring to a specific quote or scene from the movie, add a timestamp to direct the reader to the relevant part.

APA format Last name, Initials. (Director). (Year). Movie title [Film]. Production Company.
APA reference entry Scott, R. (Director). (1979). Alien [Film]. Brandywine Productions.
APA in-text citation (Scott, 1979, 0:45:14)

The citation format for TV shows is slightly different.

Citing movies in different formats

In general, you don’t need to specify the format in which you watched the film. However, if you are discussing a specific version of the film (for example, if you refer to the special features of a DVD), you can specify the version in the citation.

Lanthimos, Y. (Director). (2015). The lobster [Film; DVD release]. Film4.

Where to find source information for a movie citation

The source information you need for your citation can usually be found in the movie’s end credits or on the packaging for a physical release. Otherwise, you can check on IMDb.

APA movie source info

Information on the production company can be found further down this page, under the heading “Company Credits.”

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes for Scribbr and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

10 comments

Justine Kaneris
March 22, 2022 at 4:33 PM

Hello, How would you cite a docu-series in APA 7th ed? Would it be the same as a movie or television show?

Thank you for all the great tips!

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
March 28, 2022 at 12:58 PM

Hi Justine,

Yes, it would be the same format as for a TV series, which you can find discussed here.

Reply

Sam
February 3, 2022 at 8:33 PM

How do you cite a movie on IMDb in APA 7th? Is it the same as a movie or is it a database? Do you include the URL if it is written as a movie?

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
February 4, 2022 at 10:51 AM

Hi Sam,

If you want to cite the IMDb page for a movie, that's different from citing the movie itself. For this, you should follow the format for citing a website—specifically, a website with no author, since there's no specific author for IMDb pages. You can find this format here. Use "IMDb" as the organization name.

Reply

Ali
July 11, 2021 at 11:39 PM

What do I do if I want to cite the movie, but use specific YouTube clips? (It is for a online course post, so we can share the clips for others to watch).
I don't feel like the typical YouTube citation includes the important information about the film itself.

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
July 12, 2021 at 5:01 PM

Hi Ali,

The general principle in APA Style is to cite the version of a source you actually used, so it would still be most relevant to cite the YouTube clips in this situation. Information that is therefore missed out of your reference list but that you feel is relevant to your argument (e.g. the name of the director or other contributors, the year when the film was released) can be incorporated into your main text where relevant.

Reply

Marianne Distrajo
May 27, 2021 at 6:52 PM

Hi, what do I do if I want to cite several timestamps from the same movie? How would my reference entries and in-text citations look like?

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
May 31, 2021 at 3:48 PM

Hi Marianne,

Your reference entries wouldn't change, since it's only in in-text citations that you need to use locators like timestamps, page numbers, etc. You'd only have one reference entry for each movie.

In an in-text citation, to include multiple timestamps, just separate them with commas, e.g. (Smith, 2019, 0:51:13, 1:15:37)

Reply

Dani Elliot
December 8, 2020 at 8:17 AM

What if there are multiple production companies?

Reply

Shona McCombes
Shona McCombes (Scribbr Team)
December 10, 2020 at 7:49 PM

Hi Dani,

In this case, list all the companies separated by semicolons. For example: Chase Films; Brad Grey Television; HBO Entertainment.

Hope that helps!

Reply

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