The 9 Best Documentaries Of Louis Theroux

Aug 2, 2023 | Best Of, Celebrities

Louis Theroux, a renowned British-American documentarian, journalist, broadcaster, and author, has left an indelible mark in the world of documentaries. With a repertoire spanning over two decades, Theroux has garnered accolades including three British Academy Television Awards and a Royal Television Society Television Award.

After completing his studies at Magdalen College, Oxford, Theroux ventured across the Atlantic to the United States. There, he honed his journalistic skills while working for esteemed publications such as Metro Silicon Valley and Spy. It was during this time that he made his foray into television, captivating audiences with his offbeat segments on Michael Moore’s TV Nation series. From there, Theroux’s career flourished as he went on to host a multitude of captivating documentaries for the BBC, including the critically acclaimed series “Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends,” “When Louis Met…,” and numerous BBC Two specials.

With a keen eye for exploring the unusual, taboo subcultures, the intricacies of the justice system, and the lives of celebrities, Theroux has established himself as a master storyteller. His innate ability to connect with his subjects and unearth compelling narratives sets him apart in the documentary landscape. Additionally, Theroux’s role as a correspondent for the TV Nation documentary series further solidifies his influence and contribution to the genre.

In this blog post, we delve into the captivating world of Louis Theroux’s documentaries, highlighting the nine best works that have captivated audiences since his debut in 1998. Prepare to be enthralled as we explore the depths of human experiences, shedding light on intriguing stories that only Theroux can unveil.

1. Louis Theroux: Survivalists

In Idaho, Louis encounters military enthusiasts and devoted patriots on the right who are actively preparing for a global catastrophe. His journey takes him to Safetrek, a store frequented by survivalists, as well as Almost Heaven, a mountain refuge popular among conspiracy theorists.

During his visit, Louis also explores the Aryan Nations Church and lends a hand in constructing a straw bale house. The episode delves into the survivalist movement and the tight-knit communities that have formed around it. It is intriguing to note that many self-proclaimed survivalists have backgrounds as hippies and environmentalists, adding a fascinating layer to the narrative.

Louis immerses himself in the company of politically extreme groups, primarily located in the northwest of America. The documentary shines a spotlight on families and collectives, with a particular focus on a part of the church tainted by neo-Nazi ideologies, as they prepare for a perceived “New World Order”. The result is a captivating and thought-provoking exploration that offers both entertainment and insight.


2. Louis Theroux Miami Mega-Jail

With his project, Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail, he takes a unique look into the lives of inmates in the Miami-Dade County jail system.

From PTDC (formerly known as DCJ or “Main Jail”) and Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) to Metro West Detention Center (Metro West) and even the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department Boot Camp Program, Louis Theroux dives deep into the lives of those who have been incarcerated. Through his lens viewers get a glimpse at the inside workings and struggles that inmates face throughout their incarceration.

3. Louis Theroux A Place for Paedophiles

Louis Theroux visits Coalinga Mental Hospital in California, home to more than 500 convicted paedophiles. Here he meets the individuals undergoing treatment and gets a glimpse of their lives on the inside. Louis is particularly interested in learning more about how these convicted criminals are trying to deal with their inner demons and move on from their past mistakes. He also wants to understand the challenges they face in re-integrating into society.



4. Louis Theroux: Bodybuilding

The episode focused on the US bodybuilding world, uncovering interesting aspects. From women’s fetish videos to specialty wrestling video producers, Louis Theroux investigated this peculiar subculture with enthusiasm. His curiosity led him to delve into its secrets and discover fascinating stories of those involved. He interviewed respected bodybuilding athletes and regular gym-goers, gaining unique perspectives and insights into their motivations.



5. Louis Theroux: The Most Hated Family in America

Louis Theroux’s ‘The Most Hated Family in America’ is a powerful documentary that delves into the Westboro Baptist Church. This fundamentalist Christian group, led by Fred Phelps, expresses extreme views on various subjects through websites like and The film exposes the inner workings of the church, providing a unique insight into their beliefs and lifestyle. Through interviews and confrontational yet intelligent conversations, viewers gain a greater understanding of the complex issues surrounding the WBC. This thought-provoking documentary challenges societal norms and offers an illuminating experience.


6. Louis Theroux: Law and Disorder in Lagos

Louis Theroux, intrepid journalist and documentary filmmaker, is on the ground in Lagos. He’s taken it upon himself to investigate what life is like for some of the city’s inhabitants – from the gangs which roam its streets to the paramilitary police force tasked with maintaining order.


7. Louis Theroux – Transgender Kids

Louis Theroux visits San Francisco, home to a unique group of medical professionals. Here, these doctors are devoted to helping young people who feel they were born in the wrong body. Through their work and dedication, they strive to give these children the opportunity for a healthier future. They take on complex cases that require skillful navigation of challenging ethical issues.


8. Louis Theroux: Under the Knife

Louis Theroux dives into the fascinating world of plastic surgery in Beverly Hills. From facelifts to tummy tucks, Louis goes on a journey to gain an understanding of why people make such drastic changes to their appearance. He interviews patients and surgeons alike, getting an inside look at the motivations behind these life-changing decisions. Along the way, he also discovers the hidden mental and emotional issues that may be driving people to choose surgery.


9. Louis Theroux: Behind Bars

Louis Theroux is an acclaimed documentarian whose work has spanned various topics throughout the world. This venture was a two-week journey to San Quentin State Prison, where he got an up-close look at the lives of inmates, guards, and everyone in between. He experienced firsthand the harsh reality of prison life through interviews with those living within its walls – their stories, struggles, and hopes for the future.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

Thomas B.