"The Artist," a black-and-white homage to the era of silent movies, was named best film on Tuesday by the New York Film Critics Circle.
"The Artist," which silently depicts the travails of an actor at the cusp of the shift to talking film, also won France's Michel Hazanavicius award for best director.
Brad Pitt, meanwhile, won best actor for his role in Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life," and for the baseball movie "Moneyball." Meryl Streep picked up best actress for playing former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."
The awards can lend weight to candidates competing for the prestigious Oscar prizes.