Boyhood, which earlier in the day received six Oscar nominations including best picture, was named the year’s best film by the more-than 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest US and Canadian film critics’ group.
The critics honoured Boyhood director Richard Linklater, who in a virtually unprecedented move made the film over 12 years with the same actors, and awarded Patricia Arquette the best supporting actress prize.
The critics twice awarded Michael Keaton for his acclaimed performance in Birdman, in which he plays a fading action film actor trying to make a go of it on Broadway, with both its best actor in a comedy and best actor awards. The film also won for best ensemble among a total of seven awards.
“I’ll take anything, to be honest with you,” quipped Keaton, who has already won many awards, including the Golden Globe, and is considered a favourite for the best actor Oscar when Hollywood’s top honours are handed out on February 22.
Moore, another Oscar nominee and favourite to win, won best actress for Still Alice, in which she plays a professor with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Grand Budapest Hotel was named best comedy film, also winning for art direction and costume design, while best comedy actress went to Jenny Slate for Obvious Child.
Supporting actor Oscar nominee JK Simmons won the critics award for his turn as a hard-driving music teacher in Whiplash, while Ellar Coltrane was named best young actor or actress for Boyhood.
Best action film went to the box office hit Guardians of the Galaxy, while Bradley Cooper won best actor in an action film for the true-life war film, American Sniper. Emily Blunt won best actress in an action movie for Edge of Tomorrow.
The award for best animated film was won by The Lego Movie, which was snubbed in the Oscar nominations.
Screenplay awards went to Gone Girl and Birdman. Best foreign language film was Force Majeure, while Life Itself won best documentary.
Among honorary awards, Kevin Costner received a lifetime achievement award, Jessica Chastain was presented with the group’s first MVP, or most valuable player, honour, and director Ron Howard received the Louis XIII Genius Award.