The following summaries of current widely shown films are provided to help readers plan what to see. If additional coverage of a film has appeared in the Monitor, the date of the article is given in italics after the summary. Inclusion of a movie does not imply Monitor endorsement. The Movie Guide is scheduled to appear on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

ALL OF ME - Brash farce about an eccentric woman whose spirit transmigrates into the body of a no-nonsense lawyer. Uneven but sometimes very funny under Carl Reiner's direction. (Rated PG; contains bathroom humor and sex.)

ANOTHER COUNTRY - Years after defecting to the Soviet Union, a spy recalls his English boarding-school days as a web of petty tyranny and homosexual entanglements. Quietly directed by Marek Kanievska, who has an expert touch with actors. (Rated PG; contains homosexual activity.)

THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA - The human and natural worlds are seen as closely intertwined, and equally amoral, in these scenes of village life in rural Japan about 100 years ago. Directed by Shohei Imamura with an epic sweep that's sometimes lyrical and visionary, sometimes harrowing and brutal. (Rated R; contains sex, some of it perverse, and violence.)

BOLERO - This tedious romance, about a rich American woman's love affair with a bullfighter, is a strong candidate for worst picture of the year. Produced by star Bo Derek and directed, after a fashion, by her husband, John Derek. (Not rated; contains several graphic sex scenes.)

C.H.U.D. - Pretty bad, but what did you expect from a cheapie about ''cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers,'' anyway? Directed by Douglas Cheek, who throws in everything from graphic gore to sociopolitical commentary. (Rated R; contains violence.)

DREAMSCAPE - After learning how to enter people's dreams, a psychic and a psycho struggle over a bizarre plot to assassinate the president of the United States. The plot is ragged but director Joseph Ruben gives it humor and visual pizazz. (Rated PG-13; contains some violence and sex.)

EXTERMINATOR 2 - A vigilante takes on the thugs of New York with a flamethrower. A hate-filled drama, directed by Mark Buntzman in a snazzy pop style lifted from Walter Hill and Philip Kaufman. (Rated R; contains sex and lurid violence.)

FLASHPOINT - Two border patrolmen find a corpse and a fortune buried in the desert, and the Feds rush in for a coverup. The plot is hokey even before it falls apart near the end, but director William Tannen keeps the action hopping. (Rated R; contains violence and vulgar language.)

FULL MOON IN PARIS - Craving both companionship and privacy, a young woman tries to divide her life between two apartments, with complicated results. Immaculately directed by French filmmaker Eric Rohmer, though not as crisp as the earlier entries in his ''Comedies and Proverbs'' series. (Rated R; contains some nudity and sex.) Sep. 13.

THE JIGSAW MAN - Everything is overdrawn and overstated in this scrambled thriller about two old espionage agents doing a two-step around a piece of microfilm. Directed by Terence Young, who pushes the camera so close to the action you feel like fleeing to the lobby. (Rated PG; contains violence and a little vulgar language.)

A JOKE OF DESTINY THAT LIES IN WAIT AROUND THE CORNER LIKE A STREET BANDIT - An official of the Italian government gets trapped in his high-tech car when the computer controls break down, sparking confusion among other bigwigs, an unhappy wife, a second-rate terrorist, and a policeman, among others. The social and political satire of filmmaker Lina Wertmuller gets swamped by noisy and pointless bustling about, until the movie seems as long as its title. (Rated R; contains vulgarity.)

LAST NIGHT AT THE ALAMO - A bunch of good old boys have a boozy evening at their favorite saloon, and the good old girls get fed up with them. The performances are excellent and the low-budget production values are right at home in this dark, rambunctious comedy written by Kim Henkel and directed by Eagle Pennell. (Not rated; contains a great deal of vulgar language.)

THE LAST WINTER - Two women form a close friendship while awaiting news of their husbands, Israeli soldiers missing in the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Some situations are moving, but director Riki Shelach can't overcome the rock-bottom production values. (Rated R; contains nudity and sex.)

METROPOLIS - Reissue of Fritz Lang's 1926 German classic, transferred to handsomely tinted film with long-missing sequences restored. The strong images and daffy plot, about a future world divided between workers and owners, have enough momentum to overcome the modern pop-music score added by Giorgio Moroder. (Not rated.)

THE NINJA MISSION - Except for the credits, there's hardly a credible moment in this dopey thriller about a kidnapped scientist. The saggy action and badly dubbed conversations were directed by Mats Helge. (Rated R; contains violence and a little nudity.)

THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT - Serving as guinea pigs in a 1943 scientific test, two young men find themselves shoved into 1984 and mixed up with still more high-tech shenanigans. Directed by Stewart Raffill with attention to human values as well as fancy effects. (Rated PG; contains some violence.)

PLACES IN THE HEART - A widow struggles to keep her home and family together in Texas during the Depression. The story is slight and sentimental, but the incidents are vividly realized by director Robert Benton, and the finale is positively transcendent. (Rated PG; contains some violence and vulgarity.)

TIGHTROPE - A provocative subject, the ''dark side'' of every personality, is exploited rather than explored in this fiercely sordid drama about cop Clint Eastwood chasing a prostitute killer. Written and directed by Richard Tuggle, with nice attention to the protagonist's family relations. (Rated R; contains graphic violence and kinky sex.)

THE WOMAN IN RED - There are moments of real humor and real emotion in this otherwise frivolous sex comedy about a married man smitten with a glamorous model. Written by, directed by, and starring Gene Wilder. (Rated PG-13; contains vulgar language and a preoccupation with sex.)

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