It’s a new year, and that means dozens of new movies for families to get excited over.
Sure, there’s nothing quite as big as “The Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises,” but film enthusiasts of any age should have plenty of options to keep them busy all year long.
Here’s a look at some of the family-friendly titles coming to a theater near you in 2013.
“Beautiful Creatures” — Based on a series of young adult novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, “Beautiful Creatures” could turn out to be the next teen phenomenon now that “Twilight” is over. Veteran actors like Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis should keep things interesting for adults.
“Oz: The Great and Powerful” — Sam Raimi’s hubristic prequel to one of the most beloved films of all time updates the 1939 original’s Technicolor fantasyland with modern CGI visuals — not to mention flying monkeys that will haunt the nightmares of a new generation of youngsters.
“The Croods” — The first of three features from DreamWorks Animation scheduled for release in 2013, “The Croods” stars Nicolas Cage as the patriarch of a family of Neanderthals who must face the end of the world as they know it.
“The Host” — An adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s non-“Twilight” young adult novel about a race of body-snatching aliens. With the prodigious Saoirse Ronan in the lead role and “Gattaca” director Andrew Niccol at the helm, this could be one to watch out for.
“Jurassic Park 3D” — One of Steven Spielberg’s crowning achievements as a director returns to the big screen for a limited run. For anyone who didn’t catch it in theaters when it was originally released 20 years ago, this should be one of the must-see movies of the year.
“Iron Man 3” — The first post-“Avengers” Marvel movie will see Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark battling a new foe, the mysterious Mandarin (played by Sir Ben Kingsley), in what is being described as a “gritty, intense techno-thriller.” A no-brainer for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Epic” — Mixing elements from stuff like “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” and “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “Epic” is the latest movie from the team behind “Ice Age” and “Rio.” Like DreamWorks’ recent “Rise of the Guardians,” “Epic” is also based on a book by William Joyce titled “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.”
“Man of Steel” — Stepping into the role of producer on this one, Christopher Nolan applies his unique touch to the Last Son of Krypton himself, Superman, this time played by British actor Henry Cavill. If the trailers are any indication, expect big things.
“Monsters University” — A prequel to Pixar’s beloved “Monsters, Inc.,” this movie will explore the early relationship of Mike Wazowski and James “Sulley” Sullivan before they became Monstropolis’ top Scarers.
“Despicable Me 2” — Steve Carrell returns as the super-villain Gru in this sequel to the 2010 hit. Other than some casting details, though, not much is known, but audiences can probably look forward to more Minions.
“The Lone Ranger” — Armie Hammer dons the iconic mask and white hat made famous in the 1930s radio serials, but the real star of this big-budget Western from “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski will undoubtedly turn out to be Johnny Depp as Tonto.
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