"Even though Top of the Lake is steeped in the atmosphere of its lush, real locations, and has a pungent, at times overpowering physical realism, it’s as much a fable or cautionary tale as it is a detective story. As in Campion’s The Piano — and her other films, including An Angel at My Table, Sweetie, Portrait of a Lady, and Bright Star — this miniseries is jam-packed with situations that play like archetypal showdowns between representatives of male and female psychology. Matt Mitcham is a bad daddy par excellence, a long-haired patriarch with macho criminal sons, hot-tempered and domineering, always twisting the verbal knife to gain advantage, especially when he’s dealing with women. His counterpart is GJ (Holly Hunter, the Oscar-winning star of The Piano), an American guru with flowing white hair who leads a colony of damaged-but-healing women who’ve take up refuge in storage containers on land that Tsui claims was sold out from under him. That it was sold to women adds insult to injury; the man’s a reflexive misogynist, and every time he enters GJ’s camp, the story seems to shudder.”
— Matt Zoller Seitz’s Vulture review.