affleck092512_02_230.jpgBen Affleck won big at the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards ... scoring Best Director for Argo. Argo also won Best Picture.

Good news for the father of three who wasn't nominated in the director category for the 85th Annual Academy Awards.

The 40-year-old was announced as the winner by presenter and actor Ray Liotta. Affleck told the crowd:

    "Thank you very much. I would like to thank the Academy . . . I'm kidding, I'm kidding! This is the one that counts. I do want to thank the Broadcast Film Critics Association. It actually is very, very cool for me. There was a time where the Ben Affleck Critics' Award was a Saturday Night Live sketch, so this is a very, very cool and exciting thing, particularly to me, because there are so many unbelievable directors in this category who I can only look up to, and so many who didn't get nominated, and I'm really humbled by that."

Affeck won the award over fellow directors Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, David O. Russell and Steven Spielberg.

Validation, indeed! Click thru to see the full list of winners.