Additionally, Michael Hazanavicius, who helmed the silent black-and-white movie, was named best director by the group, which met Sunday in New York to select its 12th annual awards in 15 categories. The movie also nabbed a third honor, best use of music, for composer Ludovic Bource.
Sunday was a big day for the movie, which also recognized by the American Film Institute and the Boston Film Critics.
Meanwhile, "Take Shelter's" Michael Shannon was named best actor for his role in the apocalyptic drama, while "The Iron Lady's" Meryl Streep was named best actress for her portrayal of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
A complete list of honorees follows.
Michael Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Albert Brooks, "Drive"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life"
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE
"Cave of Forgotten Dreams"
"The Adventures of Tintin"
USE OF MUSIC
Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Tree of Life," "The Help," "The Debt," "Take Shelter"
DEBUT AS DIRECTOR
Joe Cornish, "Attack the Block"
TOP PICTURES OF 2011 (alphabetical)
"The Artist" (The Weinstein Co.)
"The Descendants" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"Drive" (Film District)
"The Help" (DreamWorksPictures)
"Hugo" (Paramount Pictures)
"Melancholia" (Magnolia Pictures)
"Midnight in Paris" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"Take Shelter" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"The Tree of Life" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"War Horse" (Dreamworks Pictures)
– The Hollywood Reporter