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.”

A boy with toy gun poses for picture in front of barricades at the police headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk, April 17, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Ukraine's government needs to provide guarantees to its Russian-speaking population in the east of the country to resolve the crisis. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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ANIMATION FOR 6 AND OLDER

• “ 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.

FOR 10 AND OLDER

• “ 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.

FOR 12 AND OLDER

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

FINE FOR MOST TEENS

• “ 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?

FINE FOR MOST
HIGH-SCHOOLERS

• “ 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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