In this essay, we advance the Critical Media Effects (CME) framework as a way of bridging two major subfields of communication that seldom speak to one another: media effects scholarship and critical cultural communication. Critical Media Effects is situated within the dominant mode of social scientific theorizing within media effects scholarship and draws on four key interrelated concepts from critical cultural communication: power, intersectionality, context, and agency. Critical Media Effects advocates for greater reflexivity, rigor, and nuance in theorizing about media effects to better respond to the complexity and dynamicity of emerging global sociopolitical mediated contexts. Recommendations, salient examples, and future directions for co-creating a shared research roadmap for CME are discussed. Through this work of bridging, we hope to promote more collaborative partnerships, productive engagement, and mutual solidarity across these two important subfields to address the most pressing social issues and challenges of the world today.