The hardcore users of IMDB are an odd bunch and, perhaps not always the most reliable resource. There’s a lot of talk about the wisdom of crowds on the internet these days, but the truth is that while a person can be smart, crowds are most often really dumb. But sometimes crowdsourcing works, and on IMDB it tends to work brilliantly when it comes to their user voted list of the top movies of all time. Go through the first 250 or so movies on that list and you won’t find a single one that isn’t worth your time, so it’s no surprise that their users would have voted Inception on to it. What might surprise you is how it’s ranked. Inception is the number three movie of all time.

With nearly 30,000 IMDB user votes recorded it’s ranked right below Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather on IMDB’s top movies list. It’s ranked above Pulp Fiction, higher than Godfather II, better than Casablanca. It also beats out my favorite movie of 2010, Toy Story 3, which has itself rocketed up the charts to the number 8 spot.

Most of the movies on that list have received nearly half a million votes while Inception, since it’s newly released, has only 30,000. And of course the ranking is determined by averaging all the votes submitted, so it’s likely that over time a few more haters will work their way in and Inception will drop a little lower on the chart. Still, it’s quite an accomplishment for a movie many critics worried would be too smart for audiences to embrace, a movie cynical pundits labeled as being over most moviegoer’s heads.

Inception is a great movie and while it probably wouldn’t make it on my personal list of all time greats, it’s not even my favorite movie if the year, it’s fantastic that so many people from so many walks of life have stepped up and embraced something that dares to ask more of its audience than an evening spent staring dully at a screen full of pretty pictures. Maybe it’s a sign that moviegoers are tired of meaningless, empty, CGI robots ready to start thinking again.

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