Jessica Chastain's new film A Most Violent Year has been named the National Board of Review's Best Film.

Filmmaker J.C. Chandor's New York crime drama surprisingly beat out the likes of movies such as Boyhood and Birdman, which have emerged as early Oscars favourites.

In addition to landing the top honour on Tuesday (02Dec14), the movie's two stars, Oscar Isaac and Chastain, have claimed the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress prizes, respectively.

Birdman star Michael Keaton has tied with Isaac for the Best Actor accolade, and his co-star Edward Norton has been named Best Supporting Actor, while Clint Eastwood picks up the Best Director title for his upcoming military drama American Sniper.

Other winners at the American film awards include Julianne Moore (Best Actress prize for Still Alice) and British actor Jack O'Connell, who is recognised for his work in Starred Up and Unbroken with the Breakthrough Performance trophy.

The awards will be handed out at a ceremony in New York City on 6 January (14).

The full list of winners is:

Best Film: A Most Violent Year

Best Director: Clint Eastwood, American Sniper

Best Actor (tie): Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year; Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, Birdman

Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie

Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Breakthrough Performance: Jack O’Connell, Starred Up & Unbroken

Best Directorial Debut: Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child

Best Foreign Language Film: Wild Tales

Best Documentary: Life Itself

William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman

Best Ensemble: Fury

Spotlight Award: Chris Rock, Top Five

Freedom of Expression Award: Rosewater & Selma