APA Movie Citation – Format & Examples

26.05.23 Other examples Time to read: 3min

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Citing correctly is an essential factor of any research paper. Among others, movies are no exception. If you use a movie as a source for your paper, it is imperative that you cite the source correctly. The American Psychological Association (APA) gives specific guidelines for formatting APA movie citations. This article provides a comprehensive overview of formatting an APA movie citation in APA style.

In a Nutshell – APA Movie Citation

  • APA movie citation refers to a movie source formatted according to the APA style guide.
  • The in-text citation entails the last name of the director(s) and the production year.
  • The reference entry entails the last name of the director(s) and the first name initial, the production year, the title of the movie, and the production company.

APA movie citation definition

The APA citation style is widely applied and used in the fields of academic disciplines such as social sciences. It gives specific guidelines to follow in order to cite sources correctly. An APA movie citation refers to citing and referencing movies within a research paper according to APA guidelines. Adhering to these rules allows you to properly acknowledge ideas, theories, and works of other authors, thus, ensuring your paper keeps at an ethical and professional standard.

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The APA movie citation format

The subsequent sections will illustrate the format for both reference entries and in-text citations of APA movie citations.

  • The format of the reference entry is as follows:

Director’s Last name, First initial. (Director). (Year). Title of the film [Film]. Production Company.

  • Format in-text citation

When citing a movie in APA style within the text, the director’s last name and the production year should be included in parentheses. If the director is already mentioned in the text, only include the year in parentheses.

Examples of APA press release citation

Here are some examples of how to format the APA press release citation in your work:

Reference entry example:

  • Johnson, O. (Director). (2005). Breaking the Habit [Film]. Foreword Studios.
  • Nolan, C. (Director). (2010). Inception [Film]. Warner Bros.

In-text citation example:

If the director is mentioned in the text:

    • According to Johnson (2005)…
    • According to Nolan (2010), dreams can be infiltrated.

If the director is not mentioned in the text:

    • (Johnson, 2005)
    • Dreams can be infiltrated (Nolan, 2010).


If the name of the director is missing, you should include the name of the production company instead. This applies to both the in-text citation and the reference entry.

If the movie has been watched online, the URL of the website or the streaming service should be included at the end of the reference entry.

For example: Nolan, C. (Director). (2010). Inception [Film]. Warner Bros. Retrieved from Netflix.

Yes. If you made a reference only to a specific scene, you can add a time stamp to the in-text citation.

For example: (Nolan, 2010, 1:05:03).