Steven Soderbergh has insisted the production team didn't assume Chadwick Boseman was going to win Best Actor.
Joaquin Phoenix decided to use his platform to speak about animal rights issues.
Other recipients include Elaine May, Liv Ullmann and Danny Glover.
Andra Day won Best Actress for The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
The Lost Daughter won four out of the five categories in which it was nominated.
Succession led the charge in the TV categories.
Awards shows are being cancelled due to a new surge of coronavirus cases.
On Wednesday, the Critics Choice Association released a statement indicting that the in-person event will no longer take place on 9 January in Los Angeles.
Rebel Wilson will front the show on 13 March.
Succession was the big winner in the television categories.
Lady Gaga and Jared Leto landed nominations for Ridley Scott's fashion drama.