Analysis of Mind Hunter

Executive Summary


Genres: Output:, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Setting: 1977, Pittsburgh

Overview: Mind Hunter is a gripping and intense script that follows FBI agent Holden Ford as he delves into the minds of criminals and challenges traditional law enforcement methods. The story begins with Holden's arrival at the FBI Training Academy and his encounters with a distressed individual and a brutal murder case. As the script progresses, Holden forms a complex relationship with his girlfriend Debbie and his mentor Bill Tench, while also facing personal and professional challenges. The script explores themes of communication, mental health, law enforcement, relationships, and trauma. It takes the audience on a journey through the dark and mysterious world of criminal psychology, leaving them intrigued and wanting more.

Themes: Communication and Connection, Mental Health and Emotional Struggles, Law Enforcement and Criminal Psychology, Relationships and Intimacy, Trauma and its Effects

Conflict and Stakes: The primary conflicts in this story include the Negotiator's struggle to establish communication with Cody and Holden's attempt to de-escalate the situation. The stakes are high as the Negotiator and Holden are trying to prevent a tragic outcome.

Overall Mood: Tense and suspenseful

Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:

Standout Features:

  • Exploration of criminal psychology: The screenplay delves into the minds of criminals and the psychological aspects of their behavior.
  • Tense and suspenseful scenes : The screenplay features scenes that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
  • Complex and compelling characters : The screenplay presents characters with depth and complexity, making them relatable and engaging.

Comparable Scripts:

  • Mindhunter (TV Show)
  • Zodiac (Movie)
  • True Detective (TV Show)
  • Se7en (Movie)
  • Silence of the Lambs (Movie)
  • Heat (Movie)
  • Training Day (Movie)
  • Gone Girl (Movie)
  • The Departed (Movie)
  • The Wire (TV Show)
  • American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (TV Show)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Book/Movie)
  • Prisoners (Movie)
  • The Killing (TV Show)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (Book)


Explanation: The screenplay shows promise in its exploration of criminal psychology and profiling, with strong scenes that effectively set up the premise and introduce thought-provoking themes. The use of unconventional behavior and the introduction of intriguing characters add depth to the story. However, there is room for improvement in developing emotional impact, creating more conflict and obstacles, and providing clearer context and resolutions for certain scenes. The character arcs of Holden Ford, Cody Miller, Debbie, and Bill Tench show potential, but could benefit from further exploration and depth. Overall, the screenplay has a solid foundation but would benefit from further refinement and development to fully engage and captivate the audience.
Market Analaysis

Budget Estimate:$10-15 million

Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 25-54, fans of crime dramas and psychological thrillers

Marketability: The screenplay explores compelling themes and features tense and suspenseful scenes that will attract fans of crime dramas and psychological thrillers.

The screenplay has a unique blend of genres, including crime drama and psychological thriller, which will appeal to a wide audience.

The screenplay features strong and complex characters, which will attract audiences looking for character-driven stories.

Profit Potential: Moderate to high, due to the strong appeal to a wide adult audience and potential for critical acclaim and awards.

Analysis Criteria Percentiles
Writer's Voice

Summary:The writer's voice throughout the screenplay is concise, focused, and realistic. They use dialogue and narrative description to create tension, explore complex themes, and develop the characters. The writer's voice is characterized by a blend of seriousness and humor, as well as a strong emphasis on dialogue-driven scenes.

Best representation: Scene 3 - Negotiation Gone Awry. This scene is the best representation of the author's voice because it showcases their ability to create vivid and evocative imagery, realistic dialogue, and explore complex internal conflicts.

Memorable Lines:

  • CODY: You can see me, right? (Scene 1)
  • Holden: How good is the book? (Scene 3)
  • Wilson: These people... are people. (Scene 4)
  • Holden: Complicated, right? Always expect 'complicated.' (Scene 12)
  • McGraw: There’s nothing. There’s nothing people won’t do to each other. (Scene 18)

Writing Style:

The overall writing style of the screenplay is characterized by sharp and fast-paced dialogue, exploration of complex themes, and a focus on tension and suspense.

Style Similarities:

  • Aaron Sorkin
  • David Fincher
Other Similarities: The screenplay also shows influences from other screenwriters such as David Mamet, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, and Greta Gerwig, who contribute to the overall style with their unique approaches to dialogue, exploration of themes, and attention to detail.

The Negotiator:A skilled negotiator trying to establish communication with Cody

Cody:A person inside the abandoned warehouse, being communicated with by the Negotiator

Agent Holden Ford:An FBI agent who arrives at the scene and tries to de-escalate the situation

Cody's wife Sissy:Cody's wife who arrives at the scene

Shepard:Holden's Unit Chief at the FBI

Debbie:Holden's love interest and a source of support

Story Shape