A List of the Best Family Movies of 2013

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2013 Top Movie Blog TopAre you always looking for a great family movie to watch? Take a look at the best family movies of 2013 that are “family-friendly.”  What does family-friendly mean? Well, that’s different for every household so that’s why we have family movie reviews below for each movie. If you want more information, please click on the title and you can read a full review of each movie to help you decide if you think it is “clean” enough for your household. And, please tell us your family’s favorite, too!

#20 – The Host

The Host

Quality: C- Violence: C+ Sexual Content: C+ Language: B+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – I have read the book and loved it. So my expectations were semi-high knowing beforehand that most books turned to movies are not done very well. That being said, I did not care for this movie at all. The main reason why I didn’t like it is because the relationship between Melanie and Wanda was completely different than the book. Since that is such a huge part in the book I just couldn’t get into the movie.

Summary – Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact. Most of humanity has succumbed. When Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), one of the few remaining “wild” humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

#19 – Austenland

Austenland

Quality: C Violence: B Sexual Content: B Language: A-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review –

Summary – Austenland is a romantic comedy about 30-something, single Jane Hayes, a seemingly normal young woman with a secret: her obsession with Mr. Darcy-as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice-is ruining her love life; no real man can compare. But when she decides to spend her life savings on a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined.

#18 – Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer

Quality: C Violence: C+ Sexual Content: A- Language: B

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review –

Summary – Acclaimed filmmaker Bryan Singer brings to the screen an amazing new take on the classic fairy tale. Jack The Giant Slayer relates the brave exploits of Jack (Nicholas Hoult), a poor young farmhand who unwittingly reopens a gateway between the human world and a fearsome race of giants. Centuries ago, the giants were defeated in a fierce battle with humans, then banished to their remote sky kingdom. But when Jack accidentally causes an enormous beanstalk to take root, his beloved Princess Isabelle is delivered into the clutches of the bloodthirsty giants. Now, with the help of the king’s military commander (Ewan McGregor), this unlikely hero gets a chance to become a legend in this thrill-packed epic filled with high-flying action and pulse-pounding adventures.

#17 – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

Quality: C+ Violence: C+ Sexual Content: A- Language: B+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – If you like fictional movies, this is the one for you! However, there is quite a bit of violence in this movie, so if you don’t like violence, you might not like this movie. Most of the violence occurs during the intense action senses however, and those are pretty sweet! Overall, this movie wasn’t bad.

Summary – In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.

#16 -Epic

Epic

Quality: C+ Violence: B- Sexual Content: A- Language: A-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – I thought this movie had a good mix of originality, seriousness, and humor. There is a good story with real characters, but there are definitely a lot of parts that made me laugh as well. I would recommend this to most people, especially to families with young children.

Summary – A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group characters in order to save their world — and ours.

#15 – Angus Buchan’s Ordinary People

Angus Buchan's Ordinary People

Quality: C+ Violence: B+ Sexual Content: A- Language: A-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – This was a decent movie. It wasn’t my favorite Christian film, but it has a good overall message. I would recommend for older children and adults.

Summary – A desperate criminal narrowly evades death at gunpoint. A hardened auto mechanic finds himself caught between grief and debt. A struggling young alcoholic yearns to escape from his misery. Three very different men seek hope in an unlikely place: the Mighty Men Conference held by Angus Buchan, the real-life farmer whose spiritual transformation inspired the celebrated film Faith Like Potatoes. The tale of Angus’s own journey intertwines with the stories of three men among the many thousands who travel to hear his words. Paths will cross and lives will be forever transformed in a powerful new motion picture based on true events.

#14 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Quality: C+ Violence: B- Sexual Content: A- Language: B+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review –

Summary – After the disastrous food storm in the first film, Flint and his friends are forced to leave the town. Flint accepts the invitation from his idol Chester V to join The Live Corp Company, which has been tasked to clean the island, and where the best inventors in the world create technologies for the betterment of mankind. When Flint discovers that his machine still operates and now creates mutant food beasts like living pickles, hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons, he and his friends must return to save the world.

#13 – Turbo

Turbo

Quality: C+ Violence: B- Sexual Content: A- Language: A-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – I really like this movie! I thought it was cheesy that in the end Turbo races in the Indy 500, but the rest was good. I was laughing during this entire movie. This is a perfect movie in my opinion for children, but it’s interesting enough to keep adults involved as well.

Summary – From the makers of MADAGASCAR and KUNG FU PANDA, TURBO is a high-velocity 3D comedy about a snail who dares to dream big – and fast. After a freak accident infuses him with the power of super-speed, Turbo kicks into overdrive and embarks on an extraordinary journey to achieve the seemingly impossible: competing in the world’s fastest race, the Indianapolis 500. With the help of his tricked-out streetwise snail crew, this ultimate underdog puts his heart and shell on the line to prove that no dream is too big, and no dreamer too small.

#12 – Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Quality: B- Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B+ Language: B-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – I personally didn’t like this movie all that much, but I know quite a few people who really like it. There is a lot of action in this movie. The main reason I didn’t like it all that much was because they made it a lot more dramatic than it needed to be, in my opinion.

Summary – A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

#11 – The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Quality: B- Violence: C+ Sexual Content: C+ Language: B

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – This movie has a really good plot (which is probably why the book is so popular). I thought they did a fair job of representing what is actually written in the book in the movie. There is a lot of sensuality which leaves this movie out of the range of children.

Summary – An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby’s nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.

#10 – Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

Quality: B Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B+ Language: C+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review –

Summary – When legions of monstrous alien creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a deadly war began. To combat them, humans devised massive robots called Jaegers as weapons. Controlled simultaneously by two pilots, even the Jaegers proved nearly defenseless against the Kaiju. Now on the verge of defeat, mankind must turn to a washed-up former pilot and an untested trainee teamed in a seemingly obsolete Jaeger, as the last hope against a mounting apocalypse.

#9 – Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness

Quality: B Violence: C- Sexual Content: C+ Language: C+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review –

Summary – When a ruthless mastermind known as Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) declares a one-man war on the Federation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the daring crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will embark on the greatest manhunt in history. It will take all of their skills and teamwork to defend Earth and eliminate Khan’s threat in this “sleek, thrilling epic.” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

#8 – Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful

Quality: B+ Violence: B+ Sexual Content: A- Language: A-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – The production design (sets, wardrobe, visual effects) is an incredible blend of the familiar and the new. The characters are engaging, especially Glinda the Good, a talking china doll, and a dryly-funny monkey. Fans of the The Wizard of Oz will enjoy this version of how the wizard and witches came to be, and there’s plenty of clever foreshadowing here. While some may complain about the broadly-written characters, simple story, and over-reaching performances by some of the actors, these elements actually help the film to match up to the style of the 1939 original.

Summary – When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convi nced he isthe great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well

#7 – Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2

Quality: B+ Violence: B Sexual Content: B+ Language: A-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – In my opinion, this is the perfect movie for kids! It’s funny, it’s simple and easy to understand, and it’s so entertaining that it’s hard to walk away from the television set while it is playing. You will like this movie from start to finish!

Summary – While Gru, the ex-supervillain is adjusting to family life and an attempted honest living in the jam business, a secret Arctic laboratory is stolen. The Anti-Villain League decides it needs an insider’s help and recruits Gru in the investigation. Together with the eccentric AVL agent, Lucy Wilde, Gru concludes that his prime suspect is the presumed dead supervillain, El Macho, whose his teenage son is also making the moves on his eldest daughter, Margo. Seemingly blinded by his overprotectiveness of his children and his growing mutual attraction to Lucy, Gru seems on the wrong track even as his minions are being quietly kidnapped en masse for some malevolent purpose.

#6 – Monsters University

Monsters University

Quality: B+ Violence: B Sexual Content: A- Language: A

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – In my opinion, this movie was as good, if not better than the first. There were many new characters in this film that I enjoyed, but I did miss not seeing Boo in this one. It was cute, funny, and entertaining!

Summary – Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. “Monsters University” unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

#5 – Safe Haven

Safe Haven

Quality: B+ Violence: B- Sexual Content: C+ Language: B+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – This latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) novel is a little too heavy on melodrama for its own good, but its actors are as charming as they are attractive. Some plot points seem better suited for a Lifetime TV movie than a big-screen film, but the relaxed chemistry between Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, some nice humor, lovely cinematography, and a surprisingly poignant ending make up for its flaws. Fans of romance will not be disappointed by this sweet little film.

Summary – When a mysterious, beautiful woman named Katie (Hough), moves to Southport, North Carolina, she sparks the interest of the locals, especially Alex (Duhamel), a handsome widower. Although she is attracted to Alex, Katie is reluctant to trust him – that is, until a new friend (Cobie Smulders) convinces her to give Alex a chance. But before long, a dark secret from Katie’s past threatens her happiness in this thrilling romance directed by Lasse Hallström (Dear John).

#4 – The Way, Way Back

The Way, Way Back

Quality: B+ Violence: B+ Sexual Content: C+ Language: B

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – I personally didn’t like this movie very much, mostly because there was a lot of crude humor in it. There is a good story behind it though, and it teaches you to do what you can to live life to the fullest.

Summary – Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

#3 – Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

Quality: B+ Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B Language: C+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – I have read some negative reviews about this movie, but I really liked it. Yes, this movie is not perfect, but overall I really enjoyed it. I like how the storyline continues from the Avengers, instead of having a completely different storyline like other sequels. I wouldn’t recommend this movie for children under 13, since it does have quite a bit of violence and some minor language.

Summary – Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: Does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

#2 – 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story

42 - The Jackie Robinson Story

Quality: A- Violence: B+ Sexual Content: B Language: B-

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – 42 is also a sincere and well-acted drama, one so inspiring that it easily bounces back from its few flaws. Sports movie clichés and melodramatic moments at times take away from the sense of realism. However, Chadwick Boseman impresses as Jackie Robinson, displaying great range as well as a masterful use of subtle restraint, and Harrison Ford hasn’t been this good in decades. Attention to period detail in recreating 1940’s America is terrific, as are all of the supporting performances. 42 is an unsettling reminder of racism in our history, an inspiring look at the courage of those who opposed it without resorting to violence, and its surprisingly funny and romantic to boot.

Summary – Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. “42” tells the story of two men—the great Jackie Robinson and trailblazing Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey—whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.

#1 – The Croods

The Croods

Quality: A- Violence: B+ Sexual Content: A- Language: A+

Mommy Bear’s Family Movie Review – The Croods, with its loads of laughs and emphasis on family, is certain to delight audiences of all ages. It’s benefited greatly by stunning animation, inventive creature design, a better-than-necessary musical score by Alan Silvestri, a screenplay that deftly balances humor with pathos, and excellent performances by its voice cast, including Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds. What’s more, the story is genuinely unpredictable.

Summary – The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world’s first family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures — and their outlook is changed forever.

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