The Leonardo DiCaprio-led blockbuster scooped the 'Best Film' trophy ahead of fellow nominees Kick-Ass, The Social Network, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and The King's Speech.
Taking home two awards apiece were Kick-Ass ('Best British Film' and 'Best Newcomer' for Chloe Moretz), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ('Best Actress' for Noomi Rapace and 'Best Thriller') and Edgar Wright (Best Director for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and a special 'Inspiration' prize).
Colin Firth appeared in person to collect the 'Best Actor' prize for The King's Speech, joking that he had now shifted his allegiance to his upcoming film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
"I was going to thank my friends at the King's Speech table, but apparently there is no King's Speech table so to hell with them," he quipped. "I'm with my new friends at the Tinker, Tailor table, which I haven't seen yet but I'm sure it will be a masterpiece."
Other winners, voted for by readers of Empire magazine, included Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy), The Last Exorcism ('Best Horror') and Four Lions ('Best Comedy').
Special awards were handed out to Gary Oldman and Keira Knightley, who won 'Empire Icon' and 'Empire Hero' awards respectively.
More Empire Awards coverage:
> In Full: Empire Awards 2011 Winners
> Gary Oldman hints at Nolan Batman return
> Video: Inbetweeners stars chat the movie
> Georgie Henley 'in the dark over Narnia future'
> Eli Roth reveals favourite horror films of 2010
> Tom Hiddleston: 'Thor is thunderous work'
Watch the trailer for Inception below: