Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language film Letters From Iwo Jima has won the first major prize of the film-award season.
The film topped the US National Board of Review (NBR) list for best film. Helen Mirren was named best actress for The Queen, while Forest Whitaker won best actor for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King Of Scotland.
Martin Scorsese was named best director for crime thriller The Departed, which also won the award for best ensemble cast.
National Board of Review voters include teachers and historians as well as those who work in the film industry.