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60 of 62 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 13 months ago by Denise Kong

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Top and bottom of the lake.
Can't stand these dark and moody productions. For people who have never been to New Zealand they would really get the impression that the sun shines two days a year. There are a couple of good twists and turns in the story line, but not enough to hold my interest. To be honest I was glad when the credits started to roll on the final disc.
And what Holly Hunters...
Published 23 days ago by Stuart M. Flanders


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60 of 62 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky, weird and compelling, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: Top of the Lake [DVD] (DVD)
The setting is stunning, but behind the beauty of the scenery, dark things are going on. Very gripping right from the start and the female detective is great - one wonders what her interest in the missing young girl is all about, and as the story unfolds, the viewer is in for some shocks. Edge of your chair stuff, but in a quiet, subtle sort of way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those films you keep thinking about, 11 Mar 2014
This review is from: Top of the Lake (Blu-ray)
We're a bit spoilt for choice for gritty police procedurals nowadays, but this one stood out for me.
. Incredible scenery contrasting with spooky music and the grim business of looking under stones.
. strong central characters: Tui, Matt and Robin notably
. extraordinary but broadly plausible cast will keep you engrossed
. above all, a study in how people in small communities will look the other way for fear of being ostracised.

Found myself watching this at 3am with work the next day!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not All Is What It Seems, 27 May 2013
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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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Brilliant, 19 Aug 2013
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb series vir exellent acting!, 2 April 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This lake is most definitely Tops, 31 Aug 2014
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The Wolf "bluesman" (uk) - See all my reviews
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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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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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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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