Best 15 Family Movies of 2013

Our top-rated family movies are a real treat. By Sierra Filucci
Best 15 Family Movies of 2013

From a documentary about young golfers to a story set in space to a Disney musical masterpiece, the best family movies of 2013 offered joy, laughs, and tears to viewers. These incredible films are not only beautifully produced but include powerful messages that we want our kids to understand -- from the close bond of family, to the benefits of fighting for your rights, to the value of arts and literature in our lives. Our top-rated movies are great titles to queue up on DVD or through streaming services, plus a few are still in theaters.


Frozen, 5 stars, on 5+, This musical masterpiece will have you and your kids singing for weeks afterward. And its messages of sisterhood and cautions against making rash decisions are positive for kids.


Wadjda, 5 stars, on 9+, Kids can gain a lot from seeing how other kids live, even if it's very different from their own experiences. This poignant movie follows an independent girl living in a traditional culture and trying to find her own way.


Gravity, 5 stars, on 14+, This thrilling space drama is like nothing else and will have viewers on the edge of their seats for a big payoff. Watch it!


Monsters University, 4 stars, on 5+, We love the smart writing and original stories packed into this college tale featuring some of our favorite animated characters.


Despicable Me 2, 4 stars, on 6+, Minions make everything better. This movie is lots of fun even without the adorable creatures, but they add a humorous zip that makes watching a joy.


The Short Game, 4 stars, on 7+, Who knew golf could be so interesting? These young pros make the game look like so much fun.


The Croods, 4 stars, on 8+, This goofy prehistoric family go on a treacherous journey, but it brings them together while making us laugh.


From up on Poppy Hill, 4 stars, on 9+, This inspiring, romantic story about teens set in the 1960s has the distinctive feel of Hayao Miyazaki, who wrote this movie while his son directed.


The Painting, 4 stars, on 9+, This stunning animated drama tackles prejudice and forbidden love, so it's not for those looking for lighthearted fun, but it's moving and gorgeous.


Ender's Game, 4 stars, on 12+, This beloved YA novel turned out pretty well on the big screen -- somehow capturing the intensity and the innocence of the young characters tasked with saving the world.


The Book Thief, 4 stars, on 13+, This lovely book-based movie tells a World-War II story that's somehow hopeful and reinforces the idea that literature can enrich our lives beyond measure.


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 4 stars, pause 13+, A great sequel to the first Hunger Games which both showcase the fascinating story of a dystopian future along with the incredible performance of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.


Tiger Eyes, 4 stars, on 13+, How nice that the favorite young adult novel from teen mindreader Judy Blume turned out so well.


The Way, Way Back, 4 stars, on 13+, This refreshing coming-of-age tale is a real joy. It skips the cliches and offers something fun, but poignant too.


Mud, 4 stars, on 14+, Another coming-of-age story that goes in strange directions, but ultimately pays off with a memorable tale.

About Sierra Filucci

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Sierra is a journalist with a special interest in media and families. She has a master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and she's been writing and editing professionally for more... Read more

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Comments (9)

Parent of a 13 and 17 year old written by lisag1

I loved Mud for myself but my children found it boring. We all four enjoyed the Croods though, very cute, we had also loved Hunger games. I have been trying to watch The way, way back but haven't finished it yet.
Adult written by Pallavi Aggarwal

The Hunger Games is the nice movie I watched it on hbodefined and you can also see the schedule of these type of movies with
Teen, 14 years old written by BlueHorse

The Way Way Back was amazing. I loved the messages and I thought the way the boy Duncan was portrayed was a lot like teenage boys act. Catching Fire was a huge improvement from Hunger Games, and Frozen was by far my favorite Disney/animated movie EVER. Once again I thought the messages were great, that the act of true love doesn't have to be a boy. It showed the importance of family and how they will always love you.
Kid, 12 years old

I agree. Gravity, Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and Mud were all great movies this year. Enjoyed them all.
Teen, 16 years old written by rebma97

I haven't seen many films this year (I REALLY want to see Frozen and Monsters University), but I must say that Catching Fire is the best so far. I was amazed at how well it explored the political complexity of the story and once again was blown away by Jennifer Lawrence's marvelous performance
Teen, 15 years old written by FILMCRITIC500

There were only 2 good movies on that list: Ender's Game and Hunger Games 2. Where was Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and Fast and Furious 6?
Teen, 15 years old written by Salsander

Monster's U is perfect for pretty much any age. Younger kids will enjoy it because it's just as captivating as any Pixar movie and older kids will like it because they are either in college or soon to be. I also thought Pixar timed this movie perfectly. When I fist saw Monster's Inc., I was four years old (it was the first movie I saw in a movie theater) and now I'm fifteen and am close to finishing high school. Like Toy Story 3's Andy leaving for College, I wonder if Pixar intentionally made these movies around 10 years after it's predecessor. Anyhow, Monster's U is definitely worth seeing
Teen, 15 years old written by Azaleia

I have to be honest with you, I only say this for advice, but movies like Gravity will make teens bored and want to pull out their phones. I know I was bored the whole movie. and to make it worse, I was on a date