Well, it is. Or so say the Internet Movie Database users, who have already rocketed the film to the #1 spot on IMDb's Top 250 list with a rating of 9.5 out of 10 and about 47,000 votes. It displaces The Godfather -- a film that doesn't even HAVE a pencil-wielding psycho-clown -- which had held the top spot for about a decade (according to our pal Peter at SlashFilm).

The rest of the top 10 on IMDb's list isn't as depressing as I thought it would be: Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather Part II, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Pulp Fiction, Schindler's List, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Empire Strikes Back, and Casablanca. I was expecting to see nothing older than about 1990, and certainly nothing in black-and-white.

IMDb notes that for the Top 250 list, "only votes from regular voters are considered," but they fail to define "regular voters." Does that mean people who vote regularly? Or do they mean "regular voters" as opposed to "guest voters" or something? Either way, these apparently aren't people who, in a rush of enthusiasm for The Dark Knight, hurried home and gave it a 10 out of 10 despite never having rated anything else on IMDb before. Apparently they have exercised their right to vote before, and presumably they know what they're doing.

Now, I loved The Dark Knight and all, but come on: the best film ever made? Surely that is not an opinion held by very many people, if any.

When you vote on IMDb, you're just grading the movie on a scale of 1-10, not comparing it to other movies. I'm sure a lot of the people who rated it, even those who gave it a 10, would agree that it probably doesn't deserve to be ranked higher than many of the other films on that Top 250 list. A lot of those are 10's, too, I'm sure. And The Dark Knight will almost certainly plunge down the list as more voters make their voices heard and the current frenzy diminishes.

What's really noteworthy about this is that it reflects the enthusiasm that so many people feel for the film. (A good chunk of those votes were cast, ahem, before the movie even opened.) We saw it in the insanely overzealous reactions to negative reviews, and we see it in the record-breaking weekend box office. Cooler heads will probably prevail on the "best movie ever made" issue, but there's no question The Dark Knight is a landmark film.