DiCaprio and Damon's films score at Globes
EPIC survival thriller The Revenant and space blockbuster The Martian won big at the Golden Globes on Sunday, boosting their chances for Oscars glory next month.
The Revenant - the story of 19th-century fur trapper Hugh Glass who is played by Leonardo DiCaprio - won three top awards at the star-studded gala for best drama, best director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) and best actor (DiCaprio).
It beat front runners Carol, a lesbian romance, and investigative journalism drama Spotlight. Carol had five nominations but walked out empty- handed, as did Spotlight with three nominations.
The Martian, the tale of an astronaut stranded alone on Mars, won two top prizes - best comedy film and best actor in a comedy for actor Matt Damon.
The two movies - split in separate categories by Globes organisers, meaning they were not competing against each other - are now in prime position as Hollywood's annual awards season heats up ahead of the Oscars on Feb 28.
"I cannot say how surprised I am and how proud I am to have survived this movie," Inarritu said, referring to the harsh conditions in which the film was shot, mainly in Canada and Argentina.
Inarritu's movie Birdman won four Oscars last year including for best picture and best director, and many critics believe the Mexican director could emerge triumphant again this year.
DiCaprio, who got a standing ovation from his Hollywood peers at the first major awards show of the year, said he wanted to share the award with indigenous communities around the world.
"It is time that we recognise your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and from people that are out there to exploit them," said DiCaprio.
Critics believe the 41-year-old actor may finally win his first Oscar for the movie. He went all out for the role, even eating raw bison liver for a scene.
A-listers Kate Winslet and Sylvester Stallone also took home acting prizes at the ceremony in Beverly Hills, which is seen as a good indicator of which movies and actors will fight for Oscars glory.
Winslet won for best supporting actress in a film for her role in the biopic Steve Jobs.
Stallone bagged best supporting actor in Creed, in which he reprised his iconic role of boxer Rocky Balboa.
Hosting the glittering gala, considered Hollywood's biggest party of the year, was British comedian Ricky Gervais. He dished out his trademark raunchy humour, targeting Caitlyn Jenner, Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, among many others.
"Shut up, you disgusting, pill-popping, deviant scum!" he said by way of greeting the champagne-guzzling crowd at the event organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
He also poked fun at Bill Cosby, saying he would rather spend an evening in a hotel room with Gibson - the target of his hosting gags in the past - than with the disgraced United States comedian accused of sexual assault by some 50 women.
In the US, the event was broadcast with a delay of a few seconds to bleep out Gervais' dirtiest jokes - and other on-air obscenities - for a primetime audience.
Rising star Brie Larson beat Carol actress Cate Blanchett to win best drama actress for her role as a young woman held captive for years with a young son in Room.
Jennifer Lawrence won best comedy actress for Joy, about the Miracle Mop inventor.
In the best foreign movie category, Hungarian Holocaust drama Son Of Saul was the winner.
Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes also honours television shows.
Mr Robot, about a computer programmer and vigilante hacker, took home the prize for best drama series.
Amazon's comedy Mozart In The Jungle took the prize for best comedy series.
Jon Hamm won his second Golden Globe for best actor in a drama for his portrayal of womanising advertising executive Don Draper in Mad Men, whose finale aired last year.
And for best actress in the TV drama category, Taraji P. Henson won the Golden Globe for her role in Empire, which looks at the struggle inside the family behind a major hip-hop label.
The awards are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, made up of some 90 entertainment editors and writers from 55 countries who report on the industry year-round.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS