According to Oxford Dictionary, flip through means:

Look or search quickly through (a volume or a collection of papers).

Is there a similar phrase that can be used for a movie? To get the main idea or search for something quickly, for instance.


If you mean to view a film or video rapidly by jumping from point to point, you can "fast-forward" through it. With digital media you can move forward using the mouse, keyboard, remote control etc and often select a multiple of the normal speed e.g. 2x 4x etc. I would still use fast forward to denote this action.


verb ​

If you fast-forward a recording, or if it fast-forwards, you make it play at very high speed so that you get to the end or a later part more quickly:

I hate this song - I'll fast-forward to the next one.

The tape jammed while I was fast-forwarding it.

Fast-forward (Cambridge Dictionary)

  • What about skim through or skip through? – user3395 Jun 13 '18 at 20:09
  • 1
    They would work too. – Michael Harvey Jun 13 '18 at 20:11
  • An anarchic holdover from the days when fast-forwarding (or rewinding) a physical tape was the only option :) – Andrew Jun 13 '18 at 21:47

Sometimes, "flip through" will work just fine.

He flipped through his movie collection, but the one he wanted wasn't in the DVD case.

The phrase is also commonly used for TV channels.

She flipped through the channels, looking for something to watch.

You can also use the word browse, if what you're wanting is "to look through multiple movies."

I browsed Netflix yesterday to see if they had it yet.

Finally, you might prefer the word scan, which can mean "to look through multiple movies" or "to look through a single movie (for a person or scene)".

I know Matt Damon is in this movie, scan through it yourself if you don't believe me!

  • I think you misinterpreted the question, at least in the first part. I expect scan is what OP is looking for. I suggest editing to put that first, and then give the other suggestions after. – Andrew Jun 13 '18 at 21:46

You can scan a listing of movies, or as PlutoThePlanet says in that answer, scan through such a listing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.