How To Cite A Movie In MLA – Format, Styles & Examples

12.01.23 MLA examples Time to read: 5min

How do you like this article?

0 Reviews


Following the MLA style guide in essays provides a structure to integrate citations from various sources, including films or movies. MLA was created to be adaptable to handle many platforms and versions. With the container system, you can highlight the most critical details in your citations, ensuring they are always accurate. Thus, whether referencing a basic text or the latest blockbuster movie, MLA’s comprehensive and flexible approach underpins effective academic writing.

How to Cite a Movie in MLA – In a Nutshell

  • In-text citations should refer to their Works Cited entry.
  • If a film is listed by its title, reference it in your text or cite it in brackets.
  • The director must be discussed or cited if a film is included under the director’s name.
  • In-text citations do not require the complete title.

Definition: MLA movie citation

To cite a film in MLA format, add the title, director, any other contributors, production or distribution firm, and release year. If a film has many versions, you must specify which one you’re referring to.


England. Directed by Terrence William, performances by Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev, director’s cut, Universal Pictures, 1985.

To reference a movie from Netflix (or other online streaming services), including the website or app’s name (e.g., “Netflix app”). If you watched the film on an unauthorized site or video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, include the website name, uploader, upload date, and URL.


The Vampire Diaries. Directed by J. Miller Tobin, Image Ten, 1968. YouTube, uploaded by 20th Century Studios, 26 Sept. 2014,

In the MLA in-text citation, provide the title (or a truncated version of the title) and the time.


(England 29:45–32:37)

(Night 18:25–40)

Ensure your final paper is free from plagiarism
Failure to correctly credit original sources most likely leads to mark deductions. Don’t risk it and utilise our online plagiarism chequeer, which allows you to detect potential plagiarism that you may have committed. Get confident in just 10 minutes!

MLA movie citation: Format

You construct an MLA Works Cited entry by entering the pertinent information. Typically, an MLA movie citation begins with the author’s name, but because numerous people develop films, you should begin the citation with the movie’s title. The director appears as a contributor following the title.


Other contributors

As with television programs, you may also include other contributors if necessary. If your paper discusses specific performances, you can cite the performers; if you examine the film’s graphics, you could include the cinematographer. Identify and separate the roles of each contributor with commas.


Legacies. Directed by Julie Plec, performance by Danielle Rose Russell, music by Michael Luca, BGI / Film4, 2013.

Suppose your film discussion concentrates primarily on one contributor (such as the director or a performer). In that case, you may insert that person’s name at the beginning of the citation in place of the author. In this instance, ensure that the identical name appears in the in-text citation.


Danielle, Russell, performer. Legacies. Directed by Julie Plec, BGI / Film4, 2013.


If there are multiple film versions, you must specify the one used for the reader to locate the appropriate source. If the version was released after the original, you must also provide the release year after the title. This isn’t mandatory, although providing historical context for the source is typically helpful.


Maze Runner. 1982. Directed by Ridley Wesley, final cut, Columbia Pictures., 2008.


Films are frequently produced and distributed by multiple firms, making it challenging to identify the publisher. Determine the organisation primarily responsible for the production or distribution of the film. If there are multiple production companies or distributors involved, use a forward slash to separate them.


Twilight. Directed by Barry Johnson, A24 / Plan B Entertainment, 2016.

MLA movie citation: Online

Suppose you stream a video on an official distribution site like Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix. In that case, if necessary, you may include pertinent information about the platform in the Works Cited section.


E.O. the Extra-Ordinary. Directed by Mike Ahern, Universal Studios, 1982. Netflix app.

Suppose the movie was republished on a site unaffiliated with the film’s makers (like YouTube, where anybody can post a copy of a film). In that case, this information should generally be included in the citation. Add the website’s name, the uploader’s name, the release date, and the URL after describing the film in detail.

Note: This format is only applitaxile to YouTube-uploaded full-length films. Follow the standard for citing a YouTube video when referencing a clip or other YouTube content.


Vincenzo. Directed by Kim Hee-won, performance by Song Joong-ki, Global Film, 1923. YouTube, uploaded by Paramount Pictures Studio, 9 June 2017,

MLA movie citation: In-Text

The in-text citation should match the first phrase of the entry in the Works Cited section. This is typically the title italicized when citing a movie. If the title is more than a few words, only the first word should be used.

Add the time frame of the section you are citing or referencing to instead of the page number.


(Twilight 01:01:23–05:31)

The time frame must be included in the parenthetical citation if the title is already given in the sentence.


The opening shot of Vincenzo introduces the town of Seoul with a school in the foreground (2:18–25).

When referring to the entyre film, it can only cite the title without a time frame.


Danielle’s performance in Legacies gives an eerie sense of displacement.

Using the same name in the in-text citation as the contributor’s name in the Works Cited entry will help the reader easily identify it in the alphabetized list.


(Danielle 25:53–27:13)

Give your thesis a final format revision prior to printing
Have a last cheque of your formatting with our 3D preview feature before sending your thesis to print. The accurate virtual representation of what the physical print will look like, affords you to ensure the printed version aligns with your expectations.


Movie Title. Contributor(s), Production Company, Year of Release. Streaming Service, URL.

Creator or writer. “The Video’s Title.” Name of Website Where You Found the Film, the name of the individual or organisation that submitted the film [if different from the author/creator], publish date on the website, and the URL. Date of Access [optional, but suggested]

In MLA movie citation format, source titles are italicized or enclosed in quotation marks. Italicize the title of a self-sufficient unit. If the title is part of more extensive work, it should be enclosed with quotation marks.