While Revenge isn't a cinematic masterpiece on the level of Kubrick or Hitchcock, I always thought it was so underrated it was kind of an unsung classic. Costner does his usual stiff but competent job, Quinn turns in a characteristically great performance, and Stowe was perfectly cast as the dazzling Latin bombshell. The chemistry between Costner and Stowe is convincing. The score and cinematography are great. The landscape, heat and dust of Mexico is the perfect setting for such an old-school, Latin-flavored tale of desire and vengeance.
But what really makes this movie stand out are all the hallmarks of a classic tragedy. Even though all the characters know their actions are wrong, none of them are able to stop themselves, and their own character flaws push them irresistibly towards a horrible fate. All the characters deserve our sympathy, but they all deserve blame as well, and the moral ambiguity of their actions is part of what makes the movie so believable and compelling. Just like in real life, nobody is 100% good or bad; their moral integrity is a matter of degree, circumstance and perspective.
The critics hated this movie and it bombed at the box office, I think because of the sheer brutality of what happens to Stowe's character, and because of what may be the saddest ending of all time. Many people just can't tolerate much deviation from the standard formulaic Hollywood fare, but for me it was part of what made the movie so compelling. Viewers who have the capacity for powerful love will instinctively feel that much more strongly for the "star-crossed" lovers, precisely because they can't be together. Some may think the comparison unwarranted, but it's part of the same emotional dynamic that gives "Romeo and Juliet" its power.
All in all a well-crafted movie based on a good Jim Harrison story, that sadly never got a fraction of the praise it deserved. But people who really know good movies will always appreciate it as a hidden gem.
P.S. All the reviews saying the director's cut butchered the original are right. The director's cut removed scenes that were essential for plot and character development, and inserted gratuitous scenes that made the film almost seem like a trashy exploitation flick. The original is way better.