LOS ANGELES -- The investigative journalism drama "Spotlight" won the top prize at the Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday, while awards favorites Brie Larson and Leonardo DiCaprio won the top acting prizes for "Room" and "The Revenant."
"Mad Max: Fury Road" was the most nominated film of the evening with 13 nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics' Association. While it lost out for the top prize, it did win a number of awards, including Best Director for George Miller, best action movie, and best action movie actor and actress for Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.
The financial crisis dramedy "The Big Short," meanwhile, won for best comedy and best comedic actor for star Christian Bale, who kissed both his wife and director Adam McKay on his way up to the stage to accept his award.
Both were up for best picture Oscar heavyweights like "Spotlight," ''The Revenant" and "The Martian," as well as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which was added after initial nominees were announced and went home empty handed on Sunday.
"Star Wars" director J.J. Abrams was in attendance to present the Genius Award to Industrial Light & Magic, which Chief Creative Officer John Knoll accepted.
But it was "Spotlight's" night in the end. The film also picked up Best Acting Ensemble, winning out over films like "Straight Outta Compton" and "The Hateful Eight."
It was the only award that N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton" was up for at the show, but the film was on everyone's minds on the blue carpet and in the early moments of the evening after it received only one Academy Award nomination for screenwriting just days earlier.
"They got snubbed, but there are lots of other great films that got snubbed as well," said Neil Brown Jr. before the show began. Brown Jr. played DJ Yella in the film which has picked up its share Guild nominations this season.
"Just everybody talking about it is enough of an Oscar for us," he added.
The lack of diversity this awards season came into focus on Thursday when there were once again no actors of color among the Academy Awards nominees. On Saturday, Jada Pinkett Smith even posited on Twitter that perhaps people of color should refrain from participating in the Oscars altogether.
"We are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments," Smith wrote.
"Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson joked early on about the lack of diversity at the Oscars.
"A lot of actors who win the Critics' Choice go on to win the Academy Award," said Anderson when presenting an early award with co-star Tracee Ellis Ross. "For you, Tracy, that means only half of you gets to go to the awards."
While Anderson was joking about Ross's mixed race background, the Critics' Choice Awards winners do often reflect who will go on to win the Oscar, making the ceremony an interesting barometer for the season as everyone gears up for the Guild Awards and, eventually, the Oscars on Feb. 28.
Sylvester Stallone followed his Golden Globes coup by winning best supporting actor for his reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in "Creed."
"Before I get into any more trouble I want to say thank you to my director Ryan Coogler. He is a genius. He really made it all happen," Stallone said. He also called co-star Michael B. Jordan a "great talent."
At the Golden Globe Awards, Stallone forgot to thank his co-star and director during the televised portion of the evening and was harshly criticized for the oversight. He has since apologized for the mistake.
Alicia Vikander won best supporting actress for "The Danish Girl" and also accepted the best sci-fi film award for "Ex Machina."
The Critics' Choice Awards do get stars to turn out in droves, like Matt Damon, who did not end up winning anything. This year some of the big winners of the evening failed to come out, though, like Brie Larson, who is shooting "Kong: Skull Island" in Hawaii, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who is promoting "The Revenant" in Europe.
DiCaprio accepted his award via a pre-taped speech.
This is the first year the Critics' Choice Awards has combined movies and television nominees into one ceremony, similar to the Golden Globes.
Big television winners in the acting categories include Jeffrey Tambor for "Transparent," Idris Elba for "Luther, and Rachel Bloom for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
"Fargo" won for best limited series and earned Kirsten Dunst a best actress in a limited series award too.
Aziz Ansari's "Master of None" won for best comedy series, while "Mr. Robot" picked up the best dramatic series award, as well as best actor for Rami Malek and best supporting actor for Christian Slater.
Host T.J. Miller, who stars on the HBO show "Silicon Valley" hosted the show, which straddles a delicate line of irreverence and sincerity. It's not quite the Golden Globes, but it's not of the Academy's caliber just yet.
"Celebrities, don't worry. I'm not going to Ricky Gervais this thing," Miller said at the beginning of the show.
"Trainwreck" director Judd Apatow wasn't afraid to let his true feelings shine through, though. When presenting the previously announced MVP award to "Trainwreck" star and writer Amy Schumer, he joked that the only way to get her there was to make up an award just for her.
"Somebody already told us we lost best comedy to 'Carol,'" Apatow laughed.
"Trainwreck" did lose best comedy in the end -- not to "Carol," but to "The Big Short."
Schumer, however, did win for best actress in a comedy.
Here are the winners at the Critics' Choice Awards.
MOTION PICTURE WINNERS:
Best Picture: "Spotlight."
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant."
Best Actress: Brie Larson, "Room."
Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, "Creed."
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl."
Best Young Actor/Actress: Jacob Tremblay, "Room."
Best Acting Ensemble: "Spotlight."
Best Director: George Miller, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Original Screenplay: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight."
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, "The Big Short."
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Revenant."
Best Production Design: Colin Gibson, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Editing: Margaret Sixel, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Costume Design: Jenny Bevan, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Hair & Makeup: "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Visual Effects: "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Animated Feature: "Inside Out."
Best Action Movie: "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Actor in an Action Movie: Tom Hardy, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Actress in an Action Movie: Charlize Theron, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Best Comedy: "The Big Short."
Best Actor in a Comedy: Christian Bale, "The Big Short."
Best Actress in a Comedy: Amy Schumer, "Trainwreck."
Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie: "Ex Machina."
Best Foreign Language Film: "Son of Saul."
Best Documentary Feature: "Amy."
Best Song: Wiz Khalifa for "See You Again" from "Furious 7."
Best Score: Ennio Morricone, "The Hateful Eight."
Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent."
Best Actor in a Drama Series: Rami Malek, "Mr. Robot."
Best Actor in a Movie Made for Television: Idris Elba, "Luther."
Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Rachel Bloom, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
Best Actress in a Drama Series: Carrie Coon, "The Leftovers."
Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Kirsten Dunst, "Fargo."
Best Comedy Series: "Master of None."
Best Drama Series: "Mr. Robot."
Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series: Timothy Olyphant, "The Grinder."
Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series: Margo Martindale, "The Good Wife."
Best Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: "Fargo."
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Christian Slater, "Mr. Robot."
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Jesse Plemons, "Fargo."
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory."
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Constance Zimmer, "UnREAL."
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Jean Smart, "Fargo."
Best Animation Series: "BoJack Horseman."
Best Reality Show: "The Voice."
Best Reality Show Host: James Lipton, "Inside the Actors Studio."
Best Structured Reality Show: "Shark Tank."
Best Talk Show: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver."
Best Unstructured Reality Show: "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown."
MVP Award: Amy Schumer.
Genius Award: Industrial Light & Magic.