Godard’s 3D movie, which also earned the 84-year-old director the jury prize at Cannes, follows a stray dog that observes an affair between a married woman and a single man.
One of the central figures in the French New Wave movement, Godard has dazzled viewers with his groundbreaking cinematic techniques in films like Breathless (1960) and Week End (1967).
America’s most distinguished critics gave Goodbye to Language 25 votes as the best film of 2014, putting it a single point ahead of Boyhood by Richard Linklater, who in turn pipped Godard to the best director award.
At its 49th annual awards meeting, the society also voted Marion Cotillard best actress for her performances in the US drama The Immigrant and the Belgian film Two Days, One Night.
Cotillard, 39, rose to international fame for her portrayal of the singer Edith Piaf in the 2007 biopic La Vie en Rose.
She easily beat off competition from Julianne Moore and Scarlett Johansson to take the award by a wide margin.