Family Filmgoer’s best family films of 2013

(DreamWorks Animation/ AP ) - A scene from “The Croods.”

(DreamWorks Animation/ AP ) - A scene from “The Croods.”

In 2013, the film industry served up a lot of strong comedies and dramas that proved to be good fare for teens, but there were fewer real quality films to choose from for the little ones. Here’s a list of movies from the past year that parents can enjoy with children of various ages.

(Photo credit: MPC / Paramount Pictures/MPC / Paramount Pictures) - A scene from “World War Z.”

epa04176175 Shane Red Hawk of the Sicangu Lakota band of the Rosebud Sioux (L) and his daughter Tshina Red Hawk (R) wait for tribal leaders with the 'Cowboy and Indian Alliance' to begin a horseback ride in protest of the Keystone XL Pipeline across from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, USA, 22 April 2014. The alliance of farmers, ranchers, and tribes has dubbed their week-long series of protests 'Reject and Protect.' EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Photos of the day

Keystone pipeline protest, New York World’s Fair anniversary, ATLAS humanoid robot and more.

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• “ Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 ” (PG). Tastier than the first one.

• “ The Croods ” (PG). Sitcomish but clever, about a paleolithic human brood.

• “ Despicable Me 2 ” (PG). More droll misadventures from reformed villain Gru.

• “ Frozen ” (PG). Gorgeous and funny with great songs.

• “ Turbo ” (PG). An overlooked gem about a racing snail.


• “ From Up on Poppy Hill ” (PG). Chaste teen love in gorgeous Japanese animated film. (Released in Japan 2011, limited release in U.S., 2013.)

• “ The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ” (PG). Ben Stiller cleverly, sweetly reinvents James Thurber’s tale.


• “ Wadjda ” (PG). A spunky little girl in Saudi Arabia wants a bicycle.


• “ 42 ” (PG-13). Terrific telling of Jackie Robinson story; okay for some 10- to 12-year-olds, too.

• “ Ender’s Game ” (PG-13). Boy hero in sci-fi adventure takes a moral stand.

• “ The Grandmaster ” (PG-13). A martial arts marvel.

• “ Gravity ” (PG-13). Just totally cool.

• “ The Great Gatsby ” (PG-13). A real eyeful, old sport.

• “ The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ” (PG-13). Slow parts, but still fine for Hobbit-o-philes.

• “ Iron Man 3 ” (PG-13). Iron Man banters with a kid, makes the whole movie worthwhile.

• “ Lee Daniels’ The Butler ” (PG-13). History of segregation and civil rights told through the saga of one man.

• “ Man of Steel ” (PG-13). Darker Superman riff feels profound.

• “ Mud ” (PG-13). Mark Twain-y country kids help a man on the run.

• “ Saving Mr. Banks ” (PG-13). The mostly true story behind the making of Disney’s “Mary Poppins.”

• “ Warm Bodies ” (PG-13). Teen girl, zombie guy, why not?


• “ Admission ” (PG-13). Paul Rudd and Tina Fey in a tasty spoof of college admissions process.

• “ Beautiful Creatures ” (PG-13). Regular guy loves elegant teen witch.

• “ Enough Said ” (PG-13). 50-ish adults mess up romance, just like teens do!

• “ The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete ” (R). Two boys alone in the projects; sad, scary, well done.

• “ The Kings of Summer ” (R). Three boys build secret cabin in woods, have (mostly) innocent fun.

• “ Much Ado About Nothing ” (PG-13). Director Joss “The Avengers” Whedon does Shakespeare proud.

• “ The Spectacular Now ” (R). Miles Teller in high drama as a teen drinker on the brink.

• “ The Way, Way Back ” (PG-13). A depressed teen finds hope at a water park.

• “ World War Z ” (PG-13). Zombies + Brad Pitt + a pandemic = heaven.

Horwitz’s Family Filmgoer column appears weekly in Weekend.

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