Critics' Choice Awards: 'Joker,' 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Watchmen' Take Down Competition in Several Categories

Joaquin Phoenix, Regina King and Jean Smart -Split -Getty-H 2020
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association; Leon Bennett/WireImage; Steve Granitz/WireImage
Superheroes dominated the night, with productions like 'Joker' and 'Watchmen' nabbing leading actor wins, along with technical honors in categories like best visual effects and best score. 

It was a big night for the superhero genre, with Avengers: EndgameJoker and Watchmen taking home a handful of notable wins during the 2020 Critics Choice Awards on Sunday. 

While most comic book fare has long been relegated to technical category honors, big- and small-screen productions picked up statues in several major acting categories throughout the night. Among them was the ceremony's first award, for best leading actor in a film, which went to Joker star Joaquin Phoenix.

During his speech, the actor thanked director Todd Phillips and writer Scott Silver for exploring themes of gun violence and childhood trauma in Warner Bros.' dark, dramatic adaptation of the famous Batman villain. 

"Instead of inciting violence, you invited the audience in to see what it feels like when you're one of the forgotten," he said. 

Actress Anne Hathaway presented for best lead actor in a film, noting that those who have won in the category at the Critics' Choice Awards have historically gone on to win for best actor at the Oscars. Phoenix already won for best lead actor at the Golden Globes last weekend, with his Critics' Choice win being the first of two Critics' Choice honors for Joker, which also took home best score on Sunday night (though the film lost best picture to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

Meanwhile, Disney's billion-dollar finale to its record-smashing team-up series, Avengers: Endgame, won in two out of the three categories it was nominated in. That includes honors for best visual effects and best action movie, with the latter category featuring nominees like 1917Ford v FerrariJohn Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and fellow Marvel film Spider-Man: Far From Home

On the television side, Watchmen lost best drama to fellow HBO series Succession, but star Regina King took home one of the ceremony's highest acting honors with a win for best actress in a drama series. While she was not in attendance to accept her award, co-star Jean Smart was there to accept best supporting actress in a drama series, and used her stage time to thank the HBO series creator Damon Lindelof for his take on the classic and acclaimed comic book universe. 

"Damon Lindelof, I don't know what to say to you," Smart said. "I mean, you took a piece of extraordinary science fiction, and you married it to historical fact, a part of our history that was so shocking, and even more shocking because a lot of us had no idea that it had even taken place." 

Between JokerWatchmen and Avengers: Endgame, superhero fare took home a total of six awards.