How to cite a movie

18.05.21 Citing sources Time to read: 6min

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Citing is an essential aspect of any academic writing. When writing about movies and films, you must cite them for reference purposes—wondering how to do so? This article will discuss in details how to cite a movie in different styles. The crucial details you should put into consideration have also been discussed.

How to Cite a Movie - FAQ

You should know how to cite a movie at the end of your essay. To do so, place the movie’s title in quotation marks. Then, place the director’s name using the first name, last name format. Write the year the movie was released and finish with the distributor’s name. The details must follow each other in that order to avoid confusion or contradiction.

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Use the following format for shorter videos and movies. Creator or Author. The Movie Title. Name of the Site you got the Movie. Name of the company that uploaded the Movie. The Date the Movie was Published. Then finish off with the Access Date. Note that the access date is optional but not recommended. Note all these details when learning how to cite a movie.

With in-text citing, the citation must correspond with the first word of the works cited. When it comes to how to cite a movie in-text, the title must be in italics. If the title has more words and longer, you should shorten it to the first phrase or word. Instead of page numbers, you can add the time range of the section you are referring to or quoting. This is very important when learning how to cite a movie.

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How To Cite A Movie: Definition

A citation is a reference. It is referring to the source of information you have mentioned in your research or writing. Learning how to cite a movie is important when researching different movies. Generally, it is essential to cite your references in academic writing. It is crucial and a way of acknowledging the creator’s works that you have consulted in your research.

Citing Movies in Different Formats

When learning how to cite a movie, you don’t have to specify the format you watched it. However, if you are writing about a specific version of the movie, you can indicate its version in the citation. There are several formatting options when it comes to citing a movie. Here are some of them.

How to Cite a Movie in APA

This is how to cite a movie in the APA style: you should start by listing its director(s) in the author section and the production company as the movie’s publisher. In this format, the title is italicized and written in sentence case. It is then followed by the label “Movie” in square brackets. Its in-text citation includes the director’s last name and the year of production. If you refer to a specific scene or quote from the movie, you should introduce a timestamp to direct readers to that scene. This is crucial especially when learning how to cite a movie in APA.

How to Cite a Movie in MLA

How to cite a movie in MLA: you should know the director, the title, the production company, other relevant distributors, and the year of release. If there are several versions of the film, you should indicate the specific version you refer to. Furthermore, how to cite a movie from online streaming services like Netflix, you don’t have to provide additional information. If you watched the movie on a video sharing platform like YouTube or an unofficial website, you should add the website’s name and URL.

MLA Movie Citation Format

An MLA Works Cited entry is created by filling out all the relevant elements. In most cases, this citation starts with the author’s name. However, because movies are created by a group of people, the citation starts with the movie’s title. The name of the director appears next as a contributor. When using this learning how to cite a movie using this format, there are several factors you need to consider. Discussed below are some of them.

Other Contributors

If the information is relevant, you can add other contributors. For example, if your research paper mentions individual performances, you can include the specific actors when citing; if you discuss the movie’s graphics and visuals, you can include the cinematographer in your citing. You must identify the role of every contributor and separate their names with commas. However, if your research paper focuses mainly on one contributor’s work, you can include their name at the start of the citation instead. This is the section where you would normally write the author’s name. This information is key when it comes to how to cite a movie.


If there are several versions of the film, you need to indicate which version you used so that the audience can identify the relevant source. If the version you are using was released later than the original, you could add the year of the original data release. As much as this is optional, it very important when it comes to giving the historical context of your source. It also ensures the accuracy of your research paper. Without indicating the specific version, the reader might refer to the original version, which can differ from the one you are writing about.

How to Cite a Movie in Chicago Style

How to cite a movie using this format: start by including any person responsible for the content you are citing, including writers, composers, or performers. When citing, the first contributor’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name. A period should also be placed after the last name. Note that in this formatting style, the affiliations and titles associated with the author should be omitted. Any suffix, such as the title Sr. or Jr., should appear after the author’s name preceded by a comma. For movies with two or more authors, you should list them in the order they credited in the film. Keep in mind that only the first person’s name should be reversed, while others maintain the normal order. Besides, all names should be separated by a comma.

After you have listed all the authors, italicize the movie title, then follow it with a period. You should also include the medium of a copy of the movie you watched (e.g. Laser Disc, DCD, VHS), along with a period. This is very important when learning how to cite a movie. Furthermore, you should include the text “Directed by” then write a list of every director involved. The director’s name should be written in normal order; avoid listing them in reverse. For movies directed by two or more directors, separate each name by a comma, then include the word “and’ before the last name on the list.

How to Cite a Movie: Finding Source Information

The source information you need for your movie citation is mostly found in the movie’s end credits. It can also be found on the packaging for a physical release. Alternatively, you can check on the IMDb. More information about the production company can be found further down the page, under the subtitle “Company Credits.” This vital when learning how to cite a movie.

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In a Nutshell

  • There are different types of formats when it comes to citing movies.
  • Some of the most common movie citing styles include APA, MLA and Chicago Style.
  • When citing a movie, you need to know its director, production company, the year of release, among other essential details discussed in the article.