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126 Reviews
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special combination of different elements superbly done
This series showcases some superb writing and acting. There isn't much on TV that is as well thought out and subtle as this. It's not only a personal drama, or a police story, or a mystery, or a thriller, but it contains strong elements of all of these. For me this is a bonus but if you are only looking for one of these maybe this is not the box set for you...
Published 18 months ago by Denise Kong

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Whakatipu
Where to begin. Well, the assertion that Tui is entering the lake to take her own life may well be wrong (I won't spoil it by stating the alternate reason) and is really not borne out by her subsequent grit and doggedness. Filmed principally around Glenorchy (Lake Top in the programme) it shows off the scenery to stunning and repetitive effect, leading me to the...
Published 15 months ago by John Hegarty


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special combination of different elements superbly done, 11 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
This series showcases some superb writing and acting. There isn't much on TV that is as well thought out and subtle as this. It's not only a personal drama, or a police story, or a mystery, or a thriller, but it contains strong elements of all of these. For me this is a bonus but if you are only looking for one of these maybe this is not the box set for you.

There are three main strands of plot: the mystery involving the disappearance of pregnant 12 year old Tui, the personal life of detective Robin Griffin (Elizabeth Moss), and the social "shape" and history of the small town in New Zealand, which includes some very insular, inward looking locals and a community of self-healing women, led by "guru" GJ (Holly Hunter).

I like the way almost all the main characters have ambiguity to them. Lead police office Al colludes with the locals, but has his own beliefs in justice. Robin's childhood sweetheart Johnno struggles with what he sees as his own weaknesses, even as he is blind to the incredible escape he has made from the forces that have dragged down the rest of his family. Even the "good" heroine Robin succumbs unwisely to anger, but this is done in such a way that you totally understand the way her frustrations have got the better of her.

If you let it, the interaction between the characters will really move you. There are uplifting moments where characters realise things about themselves and act on these revelations. There are tension moments full of threat. And although there are occasional "thrill" moments, involving chases, if that's all you are looking for, well, it's not just about that. It's the combination of these things together that makes this so special.

More reviews on Top of the Lake at [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 9 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
I gave it top rating based on my personal taste for this unusual and exotic crime drama. Not just the exotic and revealing look at the Southern Lakes District of New Zealand, but to get this unusual take on life. For those who live a sheltered life, I doubt this series is for you. On the other hand, the drama is for those with open minds and a desire for the out of the ordinary. Top of The Lake is best watched with subtitles on. Not just because of the NZ accent, which I can clearly understand, but the sound track does seem a bit weak and at times hard to follow. That is the only negative I found in the series.
The drama unfolds on many layers, and many minor mysteries that are exposed do not get resolved, you are always left wondering what some relationships really are. This series is also very centered on women's experience of the backwoods isolated man's world of rural South Island New Zealand. The struggle of the locals to make a living drives much of the underlying crime. The ability of isolated police districts to become corrupt and to run to their own tune is also exposed.
Not to give anything away, just accept that people are a bit rough on the edges in this series, and let the mysteries unfold while much social commentary is worked into the episodes.
If you have an open mind and enjoy seeing life from different and rare angles, this series meets that standard to perfection. Best to watch it twice and absorb ALL the little sub plots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This lake is most definitely Tops, 31 Aug. 2014
By 
wolfers "bluesman" (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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A very tense thriller with interlinking backstories set in the gorgeous and beautifully shot New Zealand landscape, which is a character in itself.Robin is a detective who is trying to find a pregnant young girl(Tui), and in the process finding her past( I won't reveal it) interlinked with current events.This small, isolated community is ruled and governed by Peter Mullen(always good to watch),and the hidden but all knowing shenanigans reveal a deeply disturbing insular community, seemingly powerless to do anything.
This series is a slow burner that draws you in to the characters, from the almost enigmatic G.J(Holly Hunter-a hippy like mystic), to Robins disturbing past, to the dangerous and frightening events in the life of the innocent Tui, and indeed the children of the community caught up in a circle of abuse.
You guess after about 3 episodes who the real mover and shaker is but this does not stop you watching this compulsive noir ish police procedural drama.Well written, acted and gorgeously filmed show really delivers.
A good 50 min bonus Doc on the writing and development of the show as well as a couple of mini interviews make this a really nice package, and certainly does not warrant the negative reviews some seem to be giving it.
Some disturbing scenes and nudity feature.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Brilliant, 19 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
This is a fantastic program that is both believable and very frightening. The cast all play well and I think the Elizabeth Moss from mad men has done well to break away from any kind of type casting and gone for a completely different and complicated character role. She is clearly a tremendous actress and Im sure we will she much much more of her. It is hard to write about this without spoiling it. it is not an easy ride by any stretch. But makes for great viewing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb series vir exellent acting!, 2 April 2014
By 
Cobus Tolken (Bellville, South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This is a really original story with amazing acting and beautiful cinematography, by the director of "The Piano". I would strongly recommend it to anybody that enjoys good acting and non-stereotype characters. Elisabeth Moss from "Mad Men" surpasses herself. I was really very impressed and glad that I took a chance on this series! Don't hesitate...
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not All Is What It Seems, 27 May 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
I started watching 'Top of the Lake' because I am a fan of Elizabeth Moss. Her role in this film is terrific, in fact it s so good, she should be nominated for an Emmy. From the first confusing episode to the day, I was hooked! This is one of the better mini-series I have seen,

'Top of the Lake ' is a seven-hour miniseries from filmmaker Jane Campion. Elisabeth Moss is a troubled Sydney cop investigating the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old in her small New Zealand hometown. This is a crime series concerned with heartbreak. Moss's detective Robin Griffin is investigating the disappearance of Tui. Her father is Matt Mitcham, played by Peter Mullan, a Scotsman introduced as a villain. He is a drug taker, maker and rounder and owns the town.

There's a lake where the mountains should be, and green, green grass. Everything is topsy-turvy: An unborn baby is called a "time bomb," a gentle elder-care companion puts his fist through a wall. And around the investigation is a group of scarred women camped out on land called Paradise. Holly Hunter's GJ, gives advice, sips soup and drops truth bombs.

This is a police procedural like no other. The only ethical investigator, it seems is Elizabeth Moss's character. All is not what it seems, and the finale will leave you surprised.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 05-27-13
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillaint acting and great storyline, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Top of the Lake (DVD) (DVD)
Thoroughly enjoyed this drama which is powerful and very different so keeps you engaged and guessing right from the start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb production., 6 Sept. 2014
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This is deep, rivetting and holds the attention entirely. The acting is great and the characters are strong and true to life. The scenery is fantastic. Full marks to the creative team and the cast.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top of the lake, 9 April 2014
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This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent. Dark and moody. Maintains it tension all the way to the end. The women of paradise were wonderfully weird. All in all a great watch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable escape, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
Believable plot, with lots of twists and turns. Kept you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next twist.
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Top of the Lake [DVD]
Top of the Lake [DVD] by Garth Davis (DVD - 2013)
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