The Fake Sheikh

The Fake Sheikh

Absorbing interviewees, enthralling visuals, and an unbelievably true story make this docuseries just as gripping as any thriller out there


TV Show


Watch now

Powered by


Mahmood’s deeds were unethical, but you can’t help but be impressed by how he (nearly) got away with it all.

What it's about

This three-part docuseries examines the elusive Mazher Mahmood, a British tabloid journalist who disguised himself as a sheik and orchestrated high-profile investigations, many of which turned into convictions.

The take

Mazher Mahmood’s true story is so rich, improbable, and dramatic, that it almost seems like a movie. It’s certainly edited like one. The Fake Sheikh is filled with quotable one-liners and thrilling reenactments, and at the center of it all is the compelling anti-hero, Mahmood. Director Ceri Isfryn does a commendable job of balancing the facts about her controversial subject, interviewing both Mahmood’s champions and critics, colleagues and victims, while also interweaving narratives of race and class into his story. After all, this is a man who was initially denied the chance to cover anything other than race and immigration, and so he carved his own (warped) path as a celebrity journalist. There are times when it seems like Isfryn tips the scales a bit to favor Mahmood, but it all falls in line with her movie narrative. The Fake Sheikh is just as enthralling as any good fictional thriller out there.

What stands out

It’s intriguing how, after all that he’s been through, Mahmood still remains in hiding and still limits his footprint in the world. The docuseries can only reuse the same blurred photograph of Mahmood before it starts to feel repetitive, hence the reenactments. But this just begs the question, is Mahmood still out there pretending to be the Sheikh? Does he have other characters and disguises he slips into? For what? That in itself is a mystery worth exploring.

Active Streaming Deals

$50 Off DirecTV Stream



Active Streaming Deals

69% Off NordVPN + 3 months Free



Active Streaming Deals

50% Off Sling



Active Streaming Deals

49% Off ExpressVPN




Add a comment

What did you think? Who should watch it?




Pretend it’s a City

A wildly entertaining series of interviews with a New York legend



A well-acted fact-based thriller about untangling the grip of a close-knit community


Escape at Dannemora

Based on a true prison escape story, this slow-burn suspense thriller features once-in-a-lifetime performances by a star-studded cast


The Looming Tower

A well-written thriller miniseries about the rivalry between the CIA and the FBI and how they failed to prevent 9/11.


Wild Wild Country

Almost too outrageous to be true – this captivating true crime docuseries tells the unlikely story of an Indian cult in America



Critics lauded the angle and feminist edge of this grim true crime miniseries.


The Curse

Death by cringe, courtesy of Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone’s awful people


Couples Therapy

Exhilarating quality reality TV


Over the Garden Wall

In this charming animated miniseries, two half-brothers try to find their way back home after getting lost in a supernatural forest



This unique anti-spy drama is one of Amazon Prime's hidden gems


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.