But "Inception" led all films Friday night with six awards total, all in technical categories.
Best actor went to Colin Firth for his portrayal of King George VI, who overcame a stammer with the help of an unconventional speech therapist, in "The King's Speech," while Natalie Portman won best actress for playing a ballerina who descends into madness in "Black Swan."
"The Social Network," which chronicles the origin of Facebook, also won for David Fincher's direction, Aaron Sorkin's adapted screenplay and the score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
The boxing drama "The Fighter" won in three categories: supporting actor Christian Bale, supporting actress Melissa Leo and best ensemble.
But from a numerical standpoint, "Inception" was the big winner of the night. Christopher Nolan's psychological dream thriller won for cinematography, art direction, editing, visual effects, sound and best action movie.
The Critics' Choice Movie Awards, bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, were given out at the Hollywood Palladium.
Among the other winners, "Toy Story 3" was named best animated film, "Waiting for 'Superman"' took the documentary prize, "Easy A" won best comedy and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was the foreign-language winner. Hailee Steinfeld won the best young actor or actress award for her film debut in the Coen brothers' version of "True Grit."
The front-runner this awards season, "The Social Network" has won top honors from several critics groups, including those in New York and Los Angeles and the National Society of Film Critics. It's up for six Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, while "The King's Speech" leads with seven nominations. Both are competing for best drama.