The worst movies the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ stars have been in

Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, and James Pickens Jr. have all starred on

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Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, and James Pickens Jr. have all starred on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
  • The cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” has appeared in a variety of films that didn’t wow critics.
  • Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, and Patrick Dempsey have all been in low-rated movies with a 0% critic rating.
  • Kevin McKidd, James Pickens Jr., and Jesse Williams have all starred in low-rated thrillers.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Shonda Rhimes’ ABC hit “Grey’s Anatomy” has been on the air for 16 seasons, and throughout its long run, the show has featured many talented actors in its ensemble cast

Despite having appeared in many successful films, not all of the stars’ work has been a hit with critics.

Here are the worst films the medical drama’s cast has been in, according to critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: Critic scores were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.


Sandra Oh — “Mulan II” (2003)

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Sandra Oh’s character, Ting Ting, is introduced in “Mulan II.”
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Disney

Critic Score: 0%

Sandra Oh was a fan-favorite on “Grey’s Anatomy,” starring as Cristina Yang for 10 seasons. Prior to appearing on the series, she did voice acting for the direct-to-video release of “Mulan II” as the character Ting Ting.

The film follows Mulan’s engagement to Shang while they escort three princesses to their own arranged marriages.

Critics felt the film did not provide an accurate depiction of China, going as far as to call the film offensive. Others felt that it was far less interesting to see Mulan’s love story than the warrior-hero journey of the original.

David Cornelius from eFilmcritic.com wrote, “It’s harmless, sure, but it’s also charmless.”


Katherine Heigl — “Caffeine” (2007)

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Katherine Heigl and Mark Pellegrino in “Caffeine.”
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First Look Pictures

Critic Score: 0%

Part of the original cast of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Katherine Heigl played Izzie Stevens for six seasons before leaving the series in 2010.

In 2007, Heigl played a character named Laura in the comedy “Caffeine.” Set in a London coffeehouse, the film follows a group of young adults as they navigate the complexities of their sex lives. Other actors in the film included Mena Suvari and Breckin Meyer.

Overall, most critics felt that the film was too complicated and not funny. Heather Huntington from reelzchannel.com wrote, “Those are 88 minutes I desperately wish I could get back.”


Patrick Dempsey — “Coupe de Ville” (1990)

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Daniel Stern, Patrick Dempsey, and Arye Gross in “Coupe de Ville.”
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MCA Universal Home Video

Critic Score: 0%

Before starring as Derek Shepherd on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Patrick Dempsey appeared as one of three brothers who embark on a cross-country road trip together in a 1990 film called “Coupe de Ville.”

Critics didn’t love the film, and negative reviews claimed the movie was predictable and too “touchy-feely.”

Roger Ebert echoed these sentiments in the Chicago Sun-Times, writing, “There is something deadening about the kind of formula picture where you know with absolute certainty what is going to happen, and how, and why.”


Kevin McKidd — “Home Sweet Hell” (2015)

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Kevin McKidd in “Home Sweet Hell.”
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Vertical Entertainment

Critic Score: 5%

Kevin McKidd has played Owen Hunt since the fifth season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” but he’s done a variety of other TV shows and films including 2015’s low-rated “Home Sweet Hell.”

The dark comedy featured Patrick Wilson and fellow “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl as an unhappily married couple who turn to murder to try and save their marriage.

In the film, McKidd played Freeman, a friend of a criminal who blackmails the couple.

Overall, critics were confused about the film’s tone. Christine N. Ziemba from Paste magazine wrote, “In the end, “Home Sweet Hell” is neither an adequate black comedy nor a good slasher film. It’s just hellish. There’s nothing sweet about it.”


Jesse Williams — “Jacob’s Ladder” (2019)

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Jesse Williams as Isaac “Ike” Singer in “Jacob’s Ladder.”
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Vertical Entertainment

Critic Score: 5%

Since season seven of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Jesse Williams has played as Jackson Avery.

In 2019, Williams starred in a remake of the 1990 horror thriller “Jacob’s Ladder” with Michael Ealy.

The movie’s plot centers around two brothers – one who was presumed dead for over a year. When Williams’ character comes back and proves that he’s very much alive, his brother (Ealy) goes on a haunting journey that reveals secrets he never prepared for.

Although critics liked both Williams’ and Ealy’s performances, they felt the movie was an unsuccessful remake, lacking the strange, spookiness of the original.

Andrew Wyatt from The Lens wrote, “The remake resembles the blandest of Lifetime Originals dressed up with cut-rate J-horror flourishes.”


James Pickens Jr. — “Venom” (2005)

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James Pickens Jr. plays the sheriff in the slasher film “Venom.”
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Miramax

Critic Score: 11%

Another original cast member, James Pickens Jr., has spent the last 16 seasons playing Richard Webber.

In 2005, the same year “Grey’s Anatomy” debuted, the actor appeared as a sheriff in a horror film called “Venom.”

Set in Louisiana, the film follows a group of teens who are searching for answers surrounding the death of their friend. Thy end up being chased by a villain called Mr. Jangles and many don’t live to see the end.

As AP critic Christy Lemire wrote, “This straight-up slasher flick probably should have gone straight to video for the cheesy-looking, computer-generated snakes alone.”


Justin Chambers — “The Musketeer” (2001)

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Justin Chambers in the 2001 Dumas retelling, “The Musketeer.”
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Universal Pictures

Critic Score: 11%

Before playing Alex Karev on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Justin Chambers starred as the lead in a 2001 retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ famed novel “The Three Musketeers.”

In this version, directed by Peter Hyams, D’Artagnan (Chambers) follows his dreams of trying to become a member of the Royal Musketeers – an elite group of guards sworn to protect the king – while also trying to find the man who killed his father.

Critics were not pleased with the results of this unique retelling.

As John R. McEwen from filmquipsonline.com wrote, “Hyams is hoping that the newfangled wall-climbing swordplay will compensate for the inexperience of the young and relatively unknown cast members populating most of the central roles. It doesn’t.”


Camilla Luddington — “The Healer” (2018)

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Camilla Luddington in the 2018 film “The Healer.”
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AMBI Media Group

Critic Score: 17%

Camilla Luddington became a lead cast member of “Grey’s Anatomy” during season 10 after appearing as a recurring intern on the ninth season.

She is still playing Jo Karev, although it remains to be seen what will happen with her character given her on-screen husband’s (Chambers’) sudden departure from the series.

In 2018, Luddington starred in “The Healer,” a comedy/drama film about a man (Oliver Jackson Cohen) who moves to Nova Scotia as part of a deal with his wealthy uncle and embarks on a journey of finding himself as a healer.

Reviewers felt the movie had a difficult time establishing tone. LA Times film critic Michael Rechtshaffen wrote, “Although the cause may be noble, the end effect is decidedly less rewarding.”


Sarah Drew — “Moms’ Night Out” (2014)

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Sarah Drew stars in “Moms’ Night Out.”
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TriStar Pictures

Critic Score: 19%

Sarah Drew played April Kepner on “Grey’s Anatomy” from seasons seven through 14.

While working on the series, she filmed the comedy movie “Moms’ Night Out,” which stands as her lowest-rated movie to date.

Advertised as a Christian film, “Moms’ Night Out” centers around Allyson (Drew), a mother who ventures on a night out with fellow moms that turns into a wild adventure.

Overall, critics found the film to be dated. Sandle Angulo Chen from Common Sense Media reviewed the film as a “bland faith-based comedy supports traditional gender roles.”


Chandra Wilson — “Frankie & Alice” (2014)

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Chandra Wilson as Maxine in “Frankie & Alice.”
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Code Black Entertainment

Critic Score: 21%

Original cast member Chandra Wilson plays Miranda Bailey on the “Grey’s Anatomy.”

And, while starring in the series, she filmed a movie called “Frankie & Alice” with Halle Berry – and it did not go over well with critics.

The film features Berry as a dancer who shows signs of behaviors most commonly associated with a dissociative identity disorder. Wilson plays a character named Maxine in the film.

The film was based on a true story, but critics felt it was over-the-top and a little dated.

As Cary Darling from the Fort Worth Star wrote, “‘Frankie & Alice’ feels like a film that might have been groundbreaking 40 years ago but has cable-TV movie-of-the-week written all over it in 2014.”


Caterina Scorsone — “Alice” (2008)

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Caterina Scorsone portrays the classic storybook character in “Alice.”
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LionsGate Entertainment

Critic Score: 22%

After playing Derek Shepherd’s sister Amelia on the spin-off “Private Practice,” Caterina Scorsone reprised her role on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Although she’s been involved in a variety of TV shows and movies throughout her career, Scorsone’s 2008 two-part mini-series “Alice” stands as her least critically-acclaimed work thus far.

A unique retelling of “Alice in Wonderland,” “Alice” follows a woman who ventures to Wonderland to find her lost love but ends up on a quest she never expected.

Also starring Tim Curry and Kathy Bates, the sci-fi film failed in critics’ eyes.

Robert Bianco from USA Today reviewed the film, writing, “You’re left with a woman whose main quest is unsuccessful, and a movie that’s glum, long and devoid of any sense of wonder.”


Ellen Pompeo — “Coming Soon” (1999)

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“Coming Soon” starred Bonnie Root, Gaby Hoffmann, and Tricia Vessey, but it also featured soon-to-be stars Ellen Pompeo, Ryan Reynolds, and Ashton Kutcher.
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Unapix Entertainment

Critic Score: 29%

Before playing Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Ellen Pompeo had a small, unnamed role in the raunchy comedy “Coming Soon.”

Released in 1999, the film was about a group of rich high-school students who must navigate the trials and tribulations of sexuality.

Critics found the film predictable. As Michael Dequina from themoviereport.com wrote, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how this film ends – though it is a bit shocking how abrupt and, yes, unsatisfying it is.”


Kelly McCreary — “Being Flynn” (2012)

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Kelly McCreary and Paul Dano in “Being Flynn.”
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Focus Features

Critic Score: 51%

Kelly McCreary was introduced as Meredith Grey’s half-sister Maggie Pierce on season 11 of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

She is still a part of the show’s main cast but has ventured into other projects while starring on the series. Her lowest-rated project so far is the 2012 film “Being Flynn” – but at 51%, it’s clear that critics had mixed opinions about it.

Starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano, “Being Flynn” is based on a true story about a son who is unexpectedly contacted by his absent father and then decides to reconnect with him.

In the film, McCreary plays a character named Inez.

Critics were split between approving of De Niro’s excellent performance and feeling that the plot was boring.

As Kristal Cooper from We Got This Covered wrote, “Being Flynn is too dark to appeal to the faint of heart and too safe to draw in those looking for an honest portrayal of a troubled father-son relationship.”


Giacomo Gianniotti — “Acquainted” (2018)

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Giacomo Gianniotti stars in “Acquainted.”
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Jake Sherman/Hometeam Productions

Critic Score: 60%

During the 12th season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” actor Giacomo Gianniotti began playing Andrew DeLuca.

Since joining the show, he has worked on a variety of other projects including his lowest-rated film “Acquainted.”

At 60%, it’s still a step above many of the other films on this list.

The drama follows classmates who run into each other and feel instant chemistry despite being in relationships with other people. In it, Gianniotti plays Drew, a man who must decide between pursuing this new woman or staying with his current relationship.

Although some critics felt the film was lacking, others thought it contained strong performances and dialogue that felt true and clever.

Chris Knight from the National Post wrote, “While the film is not perfect – jobs seem to have been drawn from the rom-com directory, and at almost no point does anyone discuss having kids – it’s still a superb homegrown drama, clever and surprising.”

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