The best of Louis Theroux on Netflix

By Charlotte Whyatt - Wed 20th Jun 2018 Features

Check out the best of what the award-winning documentary maker has to offer on Netflix.

Louis Theroux

With his geeky charm, witty sense of humour and polite inquisitiveness which has the uncanny ability to prompt even the most difficult subject to open up, Louis Theroux is undoubtedly one of Britain’s best documentary filmmakers.

Now that most of his work can be found on Netflix, we've compiled a list of our favourite offerings for when you're in the mood for an informative and kooky alternative to the new must-watch original. 

Louis Theroux - Savile

Four years after all of the awful crimes committed by Jimmy Saville first came to light, Theroux created this incredibly compelling and haunting documentary in an effort to understand just how he was able to get away with it for so long.

Heartbreaking interviews with some of Savile’s many victims see Theroux at his thoughtful and politely inquisitive best, while the strange emotional attachment those who were close to Savile still inexplicably have must be seen to be believed.

Also compelling is Theroux wrestling with his own guilt over not having seen Savile for what he was, the old documentary footage of them together makes for incredibly chilling viewing, which far from seeming self-indulgent is actually quite touching. 

Louis Theroux LA stories - Among the Sex Offenders

Another one of Theroux’s tougher watches, this one sees him journey to the City of Angels to take a look at Pathways, a residential facility built exclusively to hold those who’ve committed sex offences. 

Through typically revealing and non-judgemental interviews with residents, staff and parole officers alike, Theroux is able to delicately and astutely explore what few solutions there are to the controversial question of what to do with such people once they’ve served their time.

Although it shouldn't be a surprise that not all sex offenders look like the stereotype, it's still somehow very shocking to see just how normal many of them, like the female resident who tearfully recounts her exploitation of a 14-year-old-boy, appear.

Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends - Professional Wrestling 

Theroux’s first venture for the BBC which originally aired all the way back in 1998 saw him shine a light on those who’re involved with bizarre and unusual subcultures. 

This entry sees him delve into the neon-drenched, theatrical world of professional wrestling, interviewing major stars of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) like Randy Savage as well as amateurs happy to practice in a back garden.

All those featured are incredibly colourful, larger than life characters who make for hilariously great viewing. A particular highlight involves strict trainer and former wrestler Sarge subjecting Theroux to a gruelling workout after he inquires about the sport’s scripted nature. 

Louis Theroux - Louis and The Nazis 

This glimpse into the world of the Neo-Nazi group White Aryan Resistance contains all the hallmarks of a classic Theroux documentary, eccentric individuals with terrifying beliefs and awkward but insightful musings on a contentious topic.

Despite their completely despicable beliefs, the group actually come across as more pathetic than dangerous seemingly having no plan to do anything apart from get drunk and talk about trying to invade Mexico.

The scariest and strangest part of the documentary is reserved for when Theroux meets 11-year-old twins Lynx and Lamb who make up Nazi-folk duo Prussian Blue, singing songs like Skinhead Boy and playing their favourite video game, a shoot-em'-up called Ethnic Cleansing.

Louis Theroux LA stories - Edge of Life

The last documentary on this list is also quite a hard watch but for very different reasons as Theroux visits the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center to look at how death and terminal illness is approached in the US.

As well as posing difficult moral questions about how much time and resources the American health care system should be allowed to put into one person, we get a real insight into the final days of two dying patients.

Get the tissues ready for these deeply affecting and poignant scenes, like the cancer-stricken Javier marrying his long-term girlfriend, which far from seeming exploitative feel very necessary, inspiring and are handled with the utmost sensitivity.