George Clooney received the Freedom Award, a special tribute "for illuminating our shared values of freedom, tolerance and democracy" through "Good Night, and Good Luck," his film about television reporter Edward R. Murrow and the McCarthy era. Oscar winner Julia Roberts, making her first public appearance since having twins, presented the award.
Reese Witherspoon was named best actress for her sassy performance as June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line."
Michelle Williams of "Brokeback Mountain" tied for the award for best supporting actress with Amy Adams of "Junebug."
Paul Giamatti, whose "Sideways" co-star Thomas Haden Church was named best supporting actor last year, took the honor this year for his role as a fight promoter in "Cinderella Man."
Freddie Highmore won his second award for best young actor for his role in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Last year, it was for "Finding Neverland."
The awards were presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
Another special award, for Distinguished Achievement in Performing Arts, went to the movie epic "King Kong," for "revolutionary cinematic achievement in synthesizing visual effects with an actor's performance to create the character." Andy Serkis, whose movements and expressions were captured to animate the big ape, was among those on hand to accept.