Top Of The Lake Image

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 Ratings

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  • Summary: Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) returns to New Zealand to visit her sick mother only to be drawn into the investigation of the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old (Jacqueline Joe).
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 15, 2013
    This haunting New Zealand miniseries boasts a strong, tense performance from Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss as a detective, but it's very much the work of director Jane Campion. [25 Mar 2013, p.44]
  2. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 18, 2013
    This six-part series is so layered and unexpected that nothing follows a tried-and-true formula.... This is great TV.
  3. 100
    A triumph of writing, directing, and acting.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Mar 18, 2013
    Creepy and cockeyed, unholy and unnerving, Top Of The Lake is riveting stuff.
  5. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 18, 2013
    Top of the Lake doesn’t fully get rolling for a while. Happily, Moss doesn’t let us become disinterested.
  6. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 18, 2013
    It’s mainly an intelligent crime drama, and a real step forward for Sundance, which is bringing more original programming to its slate. As slow as it seems to go at first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re addicted.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Mar 18, 2013
    Most of the elaborately introduced plotlines fizzle out (or simply vanish), and the final surprise is the worst kind of twist ending, arrived at arbitrarily and seemingly presented for its shock value.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 23
  2. Negative: 7 out of 23
  1. May 18, 2013
    Watched this straight through after I discovered a post-it reminding me that this was coming on in March. Loved it.

    I'm looking at you,
    "The Killing" people when I say, This is how an atmospheric, locale-centric mystery is done. This down under gothic gets a 10. Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2013
    Top of the Lake is one of the most intriguing shows I've seen in long time, the quirkiness of the characters (especially Elisabeth Moss) enhanced the intertwined and un-nerving story-line. The characters were mysterious yet believable and scenery stunning. Another Campion New Zealand masterpiece. Expand
  3. Apr 17, 2013
    watched the whole series yesterday.......woot woot!!!! Loved Elisabeth Moss...she did her typical great job....Cant wait for Copper and Hell on Wheels to start again... Expand
  4. May 14, 2013
    When twelve year old Tui Mitcham is found apparently trying to kill herself in an ice cold lake it is soon discovered that she is pregnant. Unable to get Tui to talk the child services agency calls Robin Griffin (Elizabeth Moss), a detective with experience of working on such matters, and who happens to be visiting her cancer-stricken mother in the area.

    The shows rural surroundings certainly make for a more interesting background than the usual big city setting and this, coupled with the way in which the show is structured across its seven episodes, means that the show is able to feel original despite being yet another detective drama. Any fans of Mad Men will know Moss is talented actress and the rest of the cast give equally natural performances that help the plot build towards a satisfying conclusion.

    The only criticism I would personally level at the series is that the pace is rather slow at times during the first few episodes. As The Wire, arguably the greatest drama series in TV history, demonstrated that in itself is not necessarily a problem but when there are only seven episodes I just felt it needed to grab my attention a little quicker. That’s only a small criticism though and it certainly doesn’t stop Top of the Lake being a worthwhile watch.
  5. Mar 26, 2013
    Interesting albeit extremely quirky and fairly involving so far. It could really use subtitles as the accents are sometimes completely incomprehensible. Expand
  6. Aug 14, 2014
    I was led to this show by the positive review scores and the chance to see Elisabeth Moss in something other than Mad Men...and sometimes the reviews lie....A sort of a Killing, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo thing going on...Definitely not sympathetic to men...whilst the female cast is a bit holier than thou.....Beautiful New Zealand background but the rest ...Nah...Holly Hunters band of happy woman living apart from man..What was the point of them??? apart from having Hunter on the credits...The love interest..just didn't gel either..It had a little something but all in all...very unsatisfying.. Expand
  7. May 10, 2014
    wow.. I don't know where to begin. The plot and characters were so contrived and manipulative in that tired, dated, man-hating mode, I'm shocked that it received positive reviews at all. Kindof a scary commentary on
    the level of blind hostility, and absurd characature people are willing to swallow. Jane Campion should be
    ashamed of proliferating such sub-standard and revolting propaganda.

See all 23 User Reviews

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