Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire swept the board at the 14th annual Critics' Choice awards with five prizes including best picture.
The novel adaptation - released in the UK today (Friday January 9th) - tells of a boy from the Mumbai slums who finds himself one question away from winning 20 million rupees on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Lead actor Dev Patel, formerly of Channel 4's Skins, was named the best young actor while the film also claimed the best director, best writer and best composer prizes.
Boyle said the critical response to his "love story" to Mumbai had been "amazing".
The late Heath Ledger was named best supporting actor, with The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan collecting the award on his behalf, as well as the best action movie prize.
"I can't presume to speak for him. His voice was as unique as it was original," Nolan said of Ledger.
He described working with the Australian actor, who died of an accidental overdose of prescription medication in January last year, as "was one of the greatest experiences any of us ever had or will have".
"His contributions to cinema should be greatly appreciated, so thanks for this appreciation."
Sean Penn was named best actor for Milk, with Anne Hathaway and Meryl Steep sharing the best actress award for Rachel Getting Married and Doubt, respectively.
Kate Winslet was named best supporting actress for The Reader while other winners included Tropic Thunder and Wall-E.
The winners of the Critics' Choice awards are:Best picture
Sean Penn, Milk
Best actress - Tie
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married and Meryl Streep, Doubt
Best supporting actor
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best supporting actress
Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best acting ensemble
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best writer (Original or Adapted Screenplay):
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best animated feature:
Best young actor/actress (under 21):
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
Best action movie:
The Dark Knight
Best picture made for television:
Best foreign language film:
Waltz with Bashir
Best documentary feature:
Man On Wire
The Wrestler Bruce Springsteen
AR Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Joel Siegel award