The movie awards season officially moved into high gear Friday night with the 16th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, put on by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing about 250 television, radio and online critics.
The big winners on the night were 'Inception,' which took home six awards, 'The Social Network' with four and 'The Fighter' with three.
But you can't judge a winner just by the number of awards: 'The Social Network' nabbed the top prizes: 'Best Picture,' Best Director for David Fincher, and Best Adapted Screenplay, for Aaron Sorkin. And the film's score won Best Composer nods for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
'The Fighter,' director David O. Russell's stirring ring drama, nabbed Best Acting Ensemble, supporting actor for Christian Bale and supporting actress for Melissa Leo.
And 'Inception,' the over-the-edge sci-fi thriller directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, won for Best Action Movie, cinematography, art direction, best editing, best sound and visual effects.
Acting awards went to Colin Firth for 'The King's Speech' and Natalie Portman for 'Black Swan.' Hailee Steinfeld won the nod for Best Young Actor/Actress for her role in the Coen Bros.' 'True Grit.'
In other feature film categories, Best Animated Feature went to Disney's 'Toy Story 3' and 'Easy A' nabbed Best Comedy. 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' won for Best Foreign Language Film and 'Waiting for "Superman" ' took Best Documentary.
On TV, 'The Pacific' took Best Made for Television feature.
The Critics' Choice Movie Awards seem to be a good predictor of the Academy Award nominations. Last year, all four major acting category winners at the Academy Awards in 2010 were Critics' winners in the same categories -- and the Critics chose 'The Hurt Locker' for Best Picture and Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director. That means that 'The Social Network' -- which already has topped most of the major critics' lists, may be on its way to Oscar gold.
This is the fourth year in a row that VH1 broadcast the show live (9PM ET) from the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, and the first year the show was broadcast internationally.
The complete list of winners follows:
Best Picture: 'The Social Network'
Best Actor: Colin Firth, 'The King's Speech'
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, 'Black Swan'
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, 'The Fighter'
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, 'The Fighter'
Best Young Actor/Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, 'True Grit'
Best Acting Ensemble: 'The Fighter'
Best Director: David Fincher, 'The Social Network'
Best Original Screenplay: 'The King's Speech,' David Seidler
Best Adapted Screenplay: 'The Social Network,' Aaron Sorkin
Best Cinematography: 'Inception,' Wally Pfister
Best Art Direction: 'Inception,' Guy Hendrix Dyas and Larry Dias & Doug Mowat
Best Editing: 'Inception,' Lee Smith
Best Costume Design: 'Alice in Wonderland,' Colleen Atwood
Best Makeup: 'Alice in Wonderland'
Best Visual Effects: 'Inception'
Best Sound: 'Inception'
Best Animated Feature: 'Toy Story 3'
Best Action Movie: 'Inception'
Best Comedy: 'Easy A'
Best Picture Made For Television: 'The Pacific'
Best Foreign Language Film: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'
Best Documentary Feature: 'Waiting for 'Superman" '
Best Song: 'If I Rise,' performed by Dido and A.R. Rahman/music by A.R. Rahman/lyrics by Dido Armstrong and Rollo Armstrong; '127 Hours'
Best Score: 'The Social Network,' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross