A Simple Favour (Cert 15, 117 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Thriller/Romance, available from January 14 on Amazon Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from January 21 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray £29.99)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Joshua Satine, Ian Ho, Rupert Friend.

Single mother and food blogger Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is devoted to her young son Miles (Joshua Satine) and she enthusiastically volunteers for every after-school activity.

One day, Miles pleads with his mother to invite best friend Nicky (Ian Ho) over for dinner.

Nicky's mother turns out to be impossibly glamorous PR director Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), who masterminds global campaigns for self-absorbed fashion designer Dennis Nylon (Rupert Friend).

Stephanie befriends glamour puss Emily and she meets the PR doyenne's husband, Sean (Henry Golding), who refers to his high-flying wife as "a beautiful ghost".

When Emily calls one afternoon and asks Stephanie to pick up Nicky from school while she deals with an emergency, Stephanie gladly obliges.

The publicist never returns to collect her son and Stephanie turns amateur sleuth to unravel the mystery.

A Simple Favour is a sinfully entertaining comedy thriller, which blends a fruity cocktail of Hitchcockian whodunnit and gnarly black comedy, garnished with generous twists of spite and betrayal.

Think Gone Girl with killer one-liners and perfectly shaken martinis and you'll be close to the lip-smacking delights of a battle of the sexes in small town suburbia.

Paul Feig shows a deft touch behind the camera and he elicits winning performances from the female leads.

Pitch Perfect powerhouse Kendrick captures the tics and tenacity of her socially awkward homebody.

She contrasts sharply with Blake Lively's lost matriarch.

Jessica Sharzer's script, adapted from Darcey Bell's novel, is pleasingly self-aware as it references classic thrillers to keep us guessing as to Emily's whereabouts.

Rating: ****