How to Cite a Movie in APA

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Movies are a great source of information for many different types of papers. In this guide, you will learn how to write citations for various types of movies using APA 7th edition format.

Guide Overview

In this guide, you will find the following information:

Citing a movie

It doesn’t matter how you watched the movie (e.g., DVD, on a streaming service, in the theater, etc.), you cite all movies the same way as shown below.

APA movie citation structure:

Director Last Name, F.M. (Director). (Release Year). Title of motion picture [Film]. Studio.

Note: If you cannot locate certain bibliographic data from the film’s cover, consult or a similar website.

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APA movie citation example:

Ayoade, R. (Director). (2011). Submarine [Film]. Film4 Productions.

In-text citations for movies

Parenthetical citation: (Ayoade, 2011)

Narrative citations: Ayoade (2011)

Note: If no director cannot be identified, someone in a similar role can be credited in the director’s place as the author. 

Citing a movie in another language

When a film is in another language, simply include the translation in brackets after its original title. If the film’s title is in a language that does not use the Roman alphabet, transliterate the title.


Last name, F. M. (Director). (Year of release). Original title in sentence case [Translated in title case] [Film]. Studio.


Derbez, E. (Director). (2013). No se aceptan devoluciones [Instructions not included] [Film]. Pantelion Films.

In-text citations for movies

Structure: (Last name, date, timestamp [hour: minute: second])

Parenthetical citation: (Derbez, 2013, 1:15:38)

Narrative citations: Derbez (2013, 1:15:38)



Solution #1: Specifying editions of a movie

While you do not need to specify how you watched a movie, it is sometimes necessary to include the version or edition of the film in brackets next to the word “Film.”

Structure & Example:

Director Last Name, F. M. (Director). (Release Year). Title of motion picture [Film; Edition description]. Studio.

Lucas, G. (Director). (1983). Star wars episode V: The empire strikes back [Film; widescreen 2-disc special edition]. 20th Century Fox.



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How do I cite a movie or film in APA style?

To cite a movie or film in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the director’s name, the year, the full movie title, and the production company’s name. The templates for in-text citations and a reference list entry of a movie or film and their examples are given below:

In-text citation template and example:


Director Surname (Year)

Joon-ho (2006)


(Director Surname, Year)

(Joon-ho, 2006)

Reference list entry template and example:

Surname name, F. M. (Director). (Year). Movie title [Film]. Production Company.

Joon-ho, B. (Director). (2006). The host [Film]. Chungeorahm Film Sego Entertainment.

How do I quote a movie in APA style?

To cite a movie in APA style on your reference page, it is important that you know the name of the director, release date of the movie, title of the movie, and name of the production company.

In the in-text citation, use the movie director’s surname along with the release date. If you are including a direct quote, you should also include the time stamp for the beginning of the quotation. Templates and examples for the in-text citation of a movie are given below.


Director’s Surname (release date)

Stephenson (1999)


(Director’s Surname, release date)

(Stephenson, 1999)

With a Direct Quote:

“Quote” (Director’s Surname, release date, time stamp)

“I can work harder” (Stephenson, 1999, 1:05:42).