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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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What do we mean by the "worst" movies of the year?

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Of course, critics can only choose the best or worst of a given year from among the movies we've actually seen. I'm fortunate that I get to avoid most of the plain-old, garden-variety bad movies these days ("Old Dogs," "All About Steve," "G.I. Joe"). Something really has to be Monumentally Misconceived for me to consider it "the worst" -- which usually means there's a considerable amount of misapplied talent on display. So, I've managed to see only three of the movies on the consensus worst-list in the Vulture Critics' Poll. (Guess which three?) Was the #1 choice too obvious? See the whole "Bottom 11" after the jump. Individual critics' ballots and comments here.

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Vulture Critics' Poll: Worst Movies of 2009

1. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" 2. "All About Steve" 3. "The Ugly Truth" 4. "The Lovely Bones" 5. "Antichrist" 6. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" 7. "Nine" 8. "Old Dogs" 9. "Paper Heart" 10. (tie) "Precious Based on the Novel Sapphire by Push Push by Sapphire" and "Up in the Air"

Go ahead: If you had to choose the most memorably bad movie you saw in 2009, why would you choose it below all others? Because it's a poorly made movie, not unlike hundreds of other bad movies you've seen? Because it's a huge waste of resources? Because it's a moral and artistic abomination, an insult to anyone who cares about film or life itself? Explain.

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