Netflix just added this gripping crime mystery movie — and now is the perfect time to watch before the sequel

Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in A Simple Favor movie (2018)
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Crime mystery movies will always hold a special place in my heart. The tension, twists, and moments of “what the hell just happened?” keep me watching with bated breath. Fortunately, one of the best streaming services has an extensive library of gripping crime movies, and one recent addition to Netflix is “A Simple Favor”. 

Starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick as the leading protagonists, “A Simple Favor” delves into mysterious disappearances and dark secrets that rise to the surface. Upon its release in 2018, it received an unexpected amount of praise from critics and audiences. Four years later, a sequel was announced (Deadline), with an expected release date of late 2024 or early 2025. To put it simply, it’s one of the few movies that manages to dip its toes into several genres, including crime, thriller, drama, mystery, and even comedy.

If you’ve seen this recent addition on Netflix, you might be wondering whether it’s worth a watch in the evening. So, let’s get into the general plot of “A Simple Favor” and what to expect from the sequel. 

What is ‘A Simple Favor’ about? 

“A Simple Favor” centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a widowed mother who manages her own parenting vlog online. She meets Emily (Blake Lively), a seemingly upper-class woman with a successful career and a glamorous lifestyle. The two instantly connect as they talk about their lives and exchange confessions over some drinks.

One day, Emily suddenly disappears without a word, and so Stephanie makes it her mission to investigate. Of course, this isn’t a simple or easy investigation. Stephanie discovers some dark secrets along the way, and she realizes she might not know Emily at all. 

This movie has everything you’d expect from a crime thriller. A sudden disappearance mixed with some dangerous secrets is the perfect concoction for a great viewing experience. Hendrick and Lively work well together, and they’re expected to reprise their roles in the upcoming sequel “A Simple Favor 2." 

Critics thought it was a devilishly fun time

“A Simple Favor” grossed $97 million worldwide on a $20 million budget, as audiences seemed to love the mix of genres along with the twisted but gripping narrative. This praise is also shown by professional critics, earning the movie a relatively high score of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Entertainment Weekly’s Maureen Lee Lenker said: “A Simple Favor is a sinuous thriller with as many twists and turns as a mountain road.” Meanwhile, Cath Clarke from the Guardian especially liked the comedy aspect: “Kendrick and Lively have never been funnier, snapping one-liners at each other like elastic bands; the script is hyper-alert to the undercurrent of competitiveness between stay-at-home and working mums.” 

It’s safe to say that this crime thriller gives you a wickedly fun time. Jake Coyle from the Associated Press also agrees by saying: “An often lighthearted, sometimes creepy journey through the female stereotypes of the genre, with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as guides who both delight in and subvert traditional noir archetypes.”

Not every critic joined in on the hype. The New Republic’s Jo Livingstone thinks this is “a deeply confused movie that feels like a mash-up of Mean Girls and an episode of Law and Order.”

Enjoy this crime mystery movie before the sequel

Blake Lively in A Simple Favor movie (2018)

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Netflix has added “A Simple Favor” at the perfect time really. Since filming is said to start within the next few weeks on the sequel (according to Hollywood Reporter), we can expect news on the casting, general plot, and release date over the coming months. This means more people will feel encouraged to watch the original movie again.

“A Simple Favor” is definitely worth the watch if you enjoy crime mystery movies. It doesn’t reveal too much at the beginning, keeping you hooked and guessing what’s going to happen next. Lively and Kendrick do an excellent job at building tension as more secrets are revealed throughout the movie.

If you want more of this type of enjoyment in your life, check out the best Netflix movies in 2024. To step up the game with some frightening scares, look through some of the top Netflix horror movies if you dare.

Stream “A Simple Favor” on Netflix now. 

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Alix Blackburn
Staff Writer, Streaming

Alix is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, which basically means watching the best movies and TV shows and then writing about them. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Screen Rant and Bough Digital, both of which sparked her interest in the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing about the latest movies and TV shows, she’s either playing horror video games on her PC or working on her first novel.