With the arrival of Ben Affleck's 'The Town' on the big screen this weekend, audiences can decide if Affleck is a better director than actor. Or is it a draw? Ben Affleck the actor plays a highly intelligent leader of a four-man gang of bank robbers who yearns for a better life. Affleck the director creates a dark, moody atmosphere that occasionally erupts in violence and bloodshed. It's a good performance, but the film as a whole is even better, building on the promise Ben Affleck displayed with his first feature, 'Gone Baby Gone.' It gives weight to the idea that Affleck has joined the small gang of actors who are better directors than actors.
"What I really want to do is direct" is often heard in Hollywood, especially from actors who feel constrained by the limited range of roles offered to them. While actors have made the leap to the director's chair since the silent film days -- think Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton -- the trend has gained traction since the 1980s, when two well-known television actors began making their presence felt behind the camera. Here's our list of seven established actors whose directorial careers have eclipsed what they accomplished in front of the camera.