Miller, however, claimed best director honors, with Carol's Todd Haynes emerging as runner-up. "Mad Max" scored two other awards as well: one for John Seale's cinematography and the other for Colin Gibson's production design.
Top acting awards went to Michael Fassbender for playing the title role in "Steve Jobs" and to Charlotte Rampling, who plays a woman suddenly questioning her longtime marriage in "45 Years". Supporting actor honors were given to Michael Shannon for his role as a foreclosure specialist in "99 Homes" and to Alicia Vikander, who appears as a sentient android in "Ex Machina".
"I am very pleased that our group selected a wide range of films, from big studio blockbusters to smaller independent films richly deserving of recognition," Stephen Farber, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association said in a statement. "Our individual winners covered quite an impressive gamut in terms of age, experience and background."
The winners will be honored during a Jan. 9 ceremony, which will be dedicated to the late Belgian director Chantal Akerman. The event will also see film editor Anne V. Coates, who earned the film-editing Oscar for her work on 1963's "Lawrence of Arabia," honored with the group's career achievement award.
The complete list of winners follows:
Picture: Spotlight. Runner-up: Mad Max: Fury Road.
Director: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road. Runner-up: Todd Haynes, Carol.
Actor: Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs. Runner-up: Géza Röhrig, Son of Saul.
Actress: Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years. Runner-up: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn.
Supporting actor: Michael Shannon, 99 Homes. Runner-up: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies.
Supporting actress: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina. Runner-up: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria.
Screenplay: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight. Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa.
Animation: Anomalisa. Runner-up: Inside Out.
Foreign-language film: Son of Saul. Runner-up: The Tribe.
Documentary/nonfiction film: Amy. Runner-up: The Look of Silence.
New Generation: Ryan Coogler, Creed.
Film editing: Hank Corwin, The Big Short. Runner-up: Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road.
Cinematography: John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road. Runner-up: Edward Lachman, Carol.
Production design: Colin Gibson, Mad Max: Fury Road. Runner-up: Judy Becker, Carol.
Music score: Carter Burwell, Anomalisa and Carol. Runner-up: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight.
Special citation: David Shepard, for his invaluable work in film preservation, particularly of movies from the silent era.
Lifetime achievement: Anne V. Coates