Analysis of Killers of the flower moon

Executive Summary


Genres: Drama, Crime, Mystery, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Western, Legal

Setting: The 1920s, Osage County, Oklahoma

Overview: Killers of the Flower Moon is a gripping and suspenseful script that delves into the dark secrets and crimes plaguing the Osage community in the early 20th century. The story follows Mollie, an Osage woman, and Ernest, a complex and conflicted character, as they navigate love, betrayal, and the pursuit of justice. As the investigation into a series of murders unfolds, the characters are forced to confront their own identities, loyalties, and the clash between tradition and progress.

Themes: Family Loyalty, Corruption and Crime, Identity and Heritage, Justice and Law Enforcement, Tradition and Culture

Conflict and Stakes: Ernest's struggle to clear his name after being falsely accused of a crime, with his family's reputation and his own conscience at stake.

Overall Mood: Tense and emotional

Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:

  • Scene 1: The scene where Ernest and Mollie discuss their children and whether Ernest has told the truth is tense and emotional, as Mollie confronts Ernest about his actions.
  • Scene 12: The scene where Ernest testifies in court and Mollie walks out without receiving a satisfactory answer is tense and confrontational.

Standout Features:

  • Unique Hook: The screenplay is based on true events, which adds an extra layer of intrigue and authenticity to the story.
  • Plot Twist : The revelation that Ernest's child has died, and the subsequent investigation into the cause of death, adds a new dimension to the story and raises the stakes even higher.
  • Innovative Idea : The screenplay explores the impact of white man's laws on Native American communities, which is a unique and timely theme that adds depth and relevance to the story.

Comparable Scripts:

  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Mudbound
  • The Revenant
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford


Explanation: The screenplay 'Killers of the Flower Moon' has several strengths, including a strong opening scene, suspenseful moments, and touching emotional beats. However, it also has areas for improvement, missing elements, and notable points that could benefit from more dialogue, emotional depth, and character development, particularly in scenes involving Ernest, Anna, Reta, Thompson, and White.
Market Analaysis

Budget Estimate:$25-35 million

Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 25-54, fans of drama, legal thrillers, and westerns.

Marketability: The story explores compelling themes, has a diverse cast, and is based on true events. The screenplay has the potential to attract a wide audience and generate buzz due to its unique blend of genres and strong appeal to a wide adult audience.

The screenplay has a gripping storyline, unique hooks, and major twists that will keep the audience engaged.

The screenplay has a strong cast of characters, including complex and multi-dimensional Native American characters, and explores relevant social themes.

Profit Potential: High, due to strong appeal to a wide adult audience and potential for award nominations.

Analysis Criteria Percentiles
Writer's Voice

Summary:The writer's voice is characterized by a blend of cultural authenticity, emotional depth, and nuanced dialogue. They effectively incorporate Osage language and cultural references, creating a sense of richness and authenticity in the storytelling. The dialogue is direct and straightforward, reflecting the characters' personalities and beliefs. The narrative description is concise and evocative, capturing the atmosphere and emotions of the scenes. The writer's voice contributes to the script by immersing the audience in the Osage culture, exploring themes of identity, justice, and the clash between tradition and progress. It adds depth and authenticity to the storytelling, enhancing the emotional impact of the scenes.

Best representation: Scene 2 - Mollie Kyle's Monthly Check-in and Osage Community Chaos. This scene is the best representation because it effectively combines descriptive narrative and dialogue to create a distinct atmosphere and convey the characters' beliefs and conflicts.

Memorable Lines:

  • : The Osage Indians are the richest per capita of any civilized body of human beings in the world. (Scene 1)
  • : Chief Charles Grayson, the Osage Principal Chief, is dead. (Scene 2)
  • Mollie: I'm not a white man's nigger. (Scene 3)
  • Mollie: I'm not a white man's nigger, but I'm a Osage Indian. (Scene 3)
  • Mollie: I'm not a white man's nigger, but I'm a Osage Indian, and I'm rich. (Scene 3)

Writing Style:

The screenplay showcases a dialogue-driven style with a focus on character interactions and conflicts, reminiscent of Aaron Sorkin's and David Mamet's writing styles. The scenes also explore themes of justice, morality, and societal issues, similar to the works of Aaron Sorkin, Quentin Tarantino, and Cormac McCarthy. The writing style is characterized by sharp and impactful dialogue, minimalistic narrative description, and a focus on the internal struggles and emotions of the characters.

Style Similarities:

  • Aaron Sorkin
  • David Mamet
  • Cormac McCarthy
Other Similarities: The screenplay also features elements reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino's and Terrence Malick's writing styles, particularly in terms of the creation of tension and drama through visual storytelling and the exploration of introspection and nature.

Ernest Burkhart:A hardworking, honest man who falls into a web of deceit and murder when his uncle, William Hale, asks him to kill a rival oilman's family in order to inherit their wealth. Ernest is torn between his loyalty to his family and his conscience.

Mollie Burkhart:Ernest's wife, who is also Native American, and the mother of their two children. Mollie is a strong-willed woman who is determined to protect her family and uncover the truth about the murders.

William Hale:Ernest's uncle and a wealthy oilman. William is manipulative and ruthless, willing to do whatever it takes to maintain his power and wealth.

John Ramsey:A notorious criminal and William's right-hand man. John is a cold-blooded killer who carries out William's orders without hesitation.

Kelsie Morrison:A former lover of Ernest's who is now married to William. Kelsie is a complex character who is torn between her loyalty to William and her feelings for Ernest.

Blackie Thompson:A Native American man who is a friend of Ernest's and a member of the Osage Nation. Blackie is a wise and trusted advisor who helps Ernest navigate the dangerous world of oil and politics.

Story Shape