The movie, starring Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, saw off competition from Leonardo DiCaprio's thriller The Revenant and George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road to scoop the award on Monday (21Dec15).

Michael Fassbender landed the Best Actor prize for his portrayal of Apple boss Steve Jobs in the film of the same name, and Brie Larson picked up Best Actress for captivity drama Room.

Supporting role honours went to Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), and Miller was named Best Director for Mad Max: Fury Road. Amy, a film about late singer Amy Winehouse, won the Best Documentary prize.

Spotlight was previously awarded Best Picture by critics circles in Los Angeles and San Francisco in California.